- Contesting dominance and performing badness: a micro-sociological analysis of the forms, situational asymmetry, and severity of street violence
- Sociological Forum
- Volume | Issue number
- 30 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article proposes two ideal types of street violence: contesting dominance and performing badness. These ideal types were used as heuristic devices in qualitative analyses of 159 violent interactions among Dutch youth, taken from judicial case files. These analyses revealed that over half of the interactions resembled the contesting dominance type. Here, opponents engage in sequences of challenges and provocations to aggressively establish a domineering self; attackers purposively looked for or arranged confrontations that revolved around the issue of who is superior per se. The performing badness type was found in 30% of the cases. This is one-sided violence in which attackers humiliate and toy with their victims to display their power and meanness. The relationships between these forms of violence, situational asymmetry (weak victims and supportive groups) and severity of the violence were analyzed statistically. Contesting dominance was associated with more severe violence, resulting from the greater amount of confrontational tension. Situational asymmetry was the rule in both forms of violence. The difference between the size of the attackers’ supportive group and that of the victims turned out to be especially important. The larger the difference, the more severe the violence in general, but especially in contesting dominance.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.