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Palgrave Macmillan

Framing Excessive Violence

Discourse and Dynamics

ISBN 9781137514424
Publication Date October 2015
Formats No other formats available
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Violence is a persistent feature of modern society. However, excessive violence, occurring unexpectedly and seemingly without sense, particularly challenges social cohesion by transgressing the limits of normalised violence. This book explores the dynamics of excessive violence using a broad range of interdisciplinary case studies, including: riots, school shootings, torture, extreme right-wing violence, and terrorist acts. It highlights that excessive violence depends on various contingencies and is not always the outcome of rational decision making.
The contributors to this volume also analyse the discursive framing of acts of excessive violence. Most people experience violent acts through mass media only in retrospect and from a distance. The book shows that it is essential to examine how those events are retrospectively framed, narrated and and therefore (re)integrated into the symbolic order of society.‏ It will be of great interest to students and scholars across the fields of criminology, cultural studies, and the sociology of violence.

Daniel Ziegler is Research Assistant at the Department of Sociology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany.
Marco Gerster is Research Assistant at the Department of History and Sociology, Konstanz University, Germany.
Steffen Krämer is Research Assistant at the Department of Applied Media Studies, Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany.

1. Introduction; Marco Gerster, Steffen Krämer and Daniel Ziegler

2. Emotional Dynamics of Violent Situations; Randall Collins
3. Forward Panic and Police Riots; Anne Nassauer
4. What the Situation Explains: On Riotous Violence; Ferdinand Sutterlüty
5. Violence and Emotion; Bernhard Giesen
6. Neo-Fascist Heroes: Group Identity and Idealisation of the Aggressor in Violent Right-wing Adolescents; Michael Günter
7. Intimate Massacres: Next Steps Toward a Causal Explanation; Jack Katz

8. German Rampage: Social Discourse and the Emergence of a Disturbing Phenomenon; Jörn Ahrens
9. Amok - Framing Discourses on Political Violence by Means of Symbolic Logic; Peter Klimczak and Christer Petersen
10. Terrorism as Cultural Bricolage - The Case of Anders Behring Breivik; Sveinung Sandberg
11. Tales of Abuse and Torture. The Narrative Framing of the Abu Ghraib Photographs; Werner Binder
12. The (Relative) Absence of Torture in Documentary Photography; Annette Vowinckel
13. Off Limits? International Law and the Excessive Use of Force; Jan Klabbers

Jörn Ahrens, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany
Werner Binder, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Randall Collins, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Marco Gerster, Konstanz University, Germany
Bernhard Giesen, Konstanz University, Germany
Michael Günter, Klinikum Stuttgart, Germany
Jack Katz, University of California Los Angeles, USA
Jan Klabbers, University of Helsinki, Finland
Peter Klimczak, Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany
Steffen Krämer, Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany
Anne Nassauer, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Christer Petersen, Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany
Sveinung Sandberg, University of Oslo, Norway
Ferdinand Sutterlüty, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Annette Vowinckel, Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam, Germany
Daniel Ziegler, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany


'In documenting just how extreme violence has its origins in the expressive, emotive and symbolic this impressive collection decisively moves research forward. Individually the essays interrogate the situational, personal, and shared discursive contexts through which agents arrive at interpretations; read together they hint a synthesis might be just around the corner.' - Philip Smith, Yale University, USA, author of Why War? and Punishment and Culture
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