- Types of Youth Violence: Their Meanings of Severity
- 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper analyses youth violence as Goffmanian interaction rituals (IRs). The first aim is to develop a typology of violent IRs that brings together prior insights from interactionist and phenomenological research into youth violence. The second aim is to relate this typology to other features of the interaction (a.o. the audience or partisans) and the severity of the bodily injuries. Based on qualitative and statistical analyses of 159 judicial files, three types of violent IRs were identified. In enforcing dominance, attackers aggressively assert a domineering self. This type of IR is related to what earlier studies characterized as ‘masculine’ violence, in which pre-emptive aggressive responsiveness safeguards honour or respect. However, this study suggests that aggressive contests in environments where violence is incidental rather than endemic are quests for situational dominance, rather than self-rescuing responses. In playing the humiliation game the whims of the attackers rule as they toy with their victims. The larger number of the attackers’ supportive audience/partisans demonstrate the collective humiliation of victims, who are mostly strangers. While cruelty is a common feature here, the severity of the bodily injuries is lower. In destroying collusions and annihilating relationships attackers retaliate shame: they wipe out moral defilements, or they save their self from being crushed in a relationship respectively. They build up high levels of antagonistic tension as they prepare and project their explosive violent punishments. In these types of IRs, the violence is more severe and the victims and the attackers are more likely to know one another.
- Proceedings title: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton New
York and Sheraton New York, New York, NY, Aug 09, 2013
Publisher: American Sociological Association
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