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Violence and Society

by Larry Ray SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
Pbk 232 pages
AU$69.00 NZ$72.17
Product Status: New Edition Coming in October
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In this compelling and timely book, Larry Ray offers a wide-ranging and integrated account of the many manifestations of violence in society. He examines violent behaviour 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 authorative, this is essential reading for students, academics and researchers in sociology, criminology, social pyschology and cultural studies.

What is Violence? Origins of Violence Pain, Bodies and the Civilizing Process Spaces of Violence Masculinity and Violence Violence and the Private Sphere Homicide and its Explanations The Politics of 'Hate Crime' Genocide and Modernity Conclusions

A brave, ambitious and original book that ranges widely across disciplines and from close analysis of local patterns of violence to some of the largest questions of human history and social theory. Compared with most criminological texts it is like a breath of fresh air David Smith
Professor of Criminology, Lancaster University

Violence is one of these main human mysteries that deserve a strong renewal within social science. And today, a new generation of researchers is appearing, that takes this challenge seriously, and proposes new analytical tools in order to deal with violence. Discussing Norbert Elias, and introducing original ideas about masculinity, the body, or on the Holocaust, Larry Ray appears with this book as one of the leading scholars in this new generation Michel Wieviorka
President ISA (2006-2010), and President of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (Paris)

Larry Ray's Violence and Society offers an intelligent distillation of many crucial areas of study... The most obvious advantage of Ray's new book is that it often appears to forget that it is indeed a textbook. It roams around the broad intellectual panorama of the social sciences and humanities, overstepping restrictive disciplinary barriers without a care... Violence and Society is a book that criminology has sorely needed for some time, and a godsend for those of us teaching undergraduate courses on violence. It is that rarest of things: an intelligent and challenging textbook that goes beyond the received wisdom. I unreservedly recommend it.Simon Winlow
British Journal of Criminology

[Violence and Society] provides an excellent analysis of many forms of violence and opens your eyes to the fact that violence is not as straightforward as many people think. The author has a vast array of experience researching in the field, from the ethno-nationalist civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, to projects on racial violence as part of the ESRC's Violence Research Programme. This experience is evident in the way in which he has constructed and written the book... Violence and Society is easy to read and follow, making the text perfect for an undergraduate student delving into the field of violence. It helps to place many criminological theories in context. Postgraduate students will also find the book useful as a starting point for further research into violence. I enjoyed reading this book and will be recommending it to colleagues as an essential text on many criminology modules.Rashid Aziz
Crime, Media, Culture

I joined the University of Kent in 1998. Before that I was in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. In 1996, I was visiting scholar, Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand. At Kent I was Head of the Department of Sociology and then SSPSSR between 1999-2001, and Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences between 2009-11. I am currently Director of Research for SSPSSR.