In this compelling and timely book, Violence and Society, Larry Ray offers a wide-ranging and integrated account of the many manifestations of violence in society. He examines violent behavior and its meanings in contemporary culture and throughout history.
Introducing the major theoretical debates, the book examines different levels of violence – interpersonal, institutional and collective – and different forms of violence such as racist crime, homophobic crime and genocide. It provides readers with a succinct and comprehensive overview of its nature and effects, and the solutions and conflict resolutions involved in responses to violence.
Interdisciplinary in its approach, the text draws on evidence from sociology, criminology, primate studies and archaeology to shed light on arguments about the social construction and innate nature of violence. Engaging, wide-reaching and authoritative, this is essential reading for students, academics and researchers in sociology, criminology, social psychology and cultural studies.
Chapter 3: Violence, Bodies and Civilization
Violence, Bodies and Civilization
Few social theorists have placed violence at the centre of their theories but most have dealt with at least some aspects of violence, especially in relation to political power and the state. However, Norbert Elias has exercised a significant influence over the understanding of these problems in sociology. Elias argued that there is a long-term trend towards the pacification of civil society that is linked to the emergence of state control of the means of violence and the widening of the scope of civil society as opposed to the military or warrior elite. Elias's theory of the civilizing process is in some ways comparable to Foucault's theory of the transition from the spectacle of punishment to the panoptic ...