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.

The Politics of ‘Hate Crime’

The politics of ‘hate crime’

This chapter examines the concept of ‘hate crime’ and hate-based violence. The phenonomon is not new in human history but has been thrown into relief by the civilizing process. Until the second half of the twentieth century the use of extreme and everyday violence in enforcing hierarchies of social class, religious observance, race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender was widespread. In post-Civil War USA ‘several thousand African Americans, mostly young black males who challenged the racial status quo’, were lynched in the Southern states in public spectacles that had the active or tacit support of local state authorities (Clarke 1998). By the later twentieth century, in most developed countries and following the USA, ‘hate crime’ statutes ...

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