Social Reality: Violence, Power, and ChangeIn this series of posts about Violence, we talked about the biological and psychological aspects of aggressive behavior, how frustration influences it, and how it is determined by the social learning models since childhood, as well as the situation's triggers present.
The influencers of Violence -Part Two - Social, Cognitive and Environmental Factors
In part 1 enlarged our vision about the influence of Culture and Social Context in violence and this part 2 we will analyze the aspects of Socialization, Cognition, and the Environment.
Before going on I will leave this picture to think how each individual orients the violent pulsions of the aggressive behavior.
III - Social Factors influencing Violence
1- Social Influence
Social violence can be related to actions against otherness, inequality, genre and social discrimination.
Working has become a slavery state, where people even with two or more jobs can't get a decent life, stressing and opening doors for violence.
Violence is manifested with Anger, Hostility, and Impulsivity, where Anger is a trigger for both physical and verbal aggression and hostility.
We today know what happens to children exposed to violence in ethnic-political conflicts, building psychosocial misalignment at the levels of cognitive, emotional and self-development.
The worst cases are the armies of children soldiers and/or the ones that use them for sexual abuse, and it's impossible to imagine the suffering and personality disturbance these traumas mark them as almost unrecoverable for all life.
Most of this armies are supplied with guns bought from the imperialists, and we have stopped them because they feed on human blood and psychic damages.
The violence of all imperialists supporting guns for wars doesn't want to see the already increasing crowds of refugees, finding a place to live, that created the actual internal violence inside their imperial navels, with what is called terrorism.
When we invade, sell guns and start wars in other countries it's called democracy and help.
Social learning is related to biosocial mechanisms that influence the development of social-cognitive structures and processes, in interactions that shape the future emerging violent behavior in adulthood.
The conditions of Social interaction influence the degree of violent behaviors, and we will approach the perspectives of the presence of another actor and social pressure of authority that always sees aggression under the power of the law to replace "Social Order".
In the first perspective, the individuals have the presence or intervention of someone, like external observers or an "authority" used to anticipate the consequences of their actions, if they consent or reprove that behavior of aggression.
In the second perspective the social hierarchic society using power as a "legitimate violence" of the use of authority to attain submission and domination.
Kren and Rappoport in 1980 showed that racism is normally a "motive" for the dominant group to accept "justified violence".
The study of Milgram in 1974 is impressive because he wanted to find out how the Nazis could carry horrible unacceptable orders of killing, torturing and destroy human beings for the fun of Nazi science.
He found out that when there is an authority in presence and "forces" people to harm other people with electric shocks, they go too far using shocks they know that can kill and hearing the screaming of the "victim-actors".
Bickman in 1974 showed this perspective with a simple experiment.
A Police, a Milkman and a common person on the streets asked people to do some actions like picking a bag from the floor, give a coin to an unknown person for car parking, or change their bus stop.
People rarely accepted this absurd orders from the milkman or the common person but with the police:
82% of the people pick the bag.
89% gives money to a stranger for car parking.
56% of the people accept to change to another bus stop they don't want or need.
2- Social categorization
Social categorization is classifying a person with premises that characterise it as a stereotype.
Social racial stereotypes can influence *aggressive behavior and it increases if the "punisher" is anonymous.
Social stereotypes are big influencers to trigger violent behavior where categorization leads to "objectification" of the other.
3- Group Violence
Groups can be "moral references" to justify one's violence and the influence of groups interrelation in violence fed by cohesion and the "feeling of belonging".
Sherif in 1953 verified that competition between groups of children created in both negative stereotypes and higher levels of aggressive behavior.
The ultra-violence of football hooligan clans have strict relations with the far right wing fascist movements, and they have a similar cult and philosophy of the "Black Shirts".
IV - Cognitive Factors influencing Violence
It's very important to identify individual characteristics associated with aggression and violence in childhood and youth that can be targeted specifically by prevention and intervention because early life preventive efforts give better results.
Self-control in children manage and regulate emotions and behaviors, and we should teach them to "think before acting".
People have "normative beliefs" about aggression and violence, a moral system constituted of cognition and the social acceptance of others about violence in different circumstances.
V - Environmental Factors
Here we will talk about the ambient factors like the conditions of life, as well as, for instance, the influence of heat and noise in aggressive behavior.
We are going to analyze the influence of city areas in aggressive behavior knowing that urban concentration can the sparkle to generate the fire of violence.
The urban children can't go to the adult space and engage in activities with them and they stay inside the house most of the time or in worst cases, they stay in the crowded streets in the middle garbage, cars and sometimes criminal activities and violence.
Big urban spaces are cradles of impoverished relationships, fragile family structure, anonymity, frustration, and loss of solidarity and identity.
Reports made in 1977, showed that is interrelated to the number of buildings and the number floors.
There was evidence that criminality increases a lot in zones where buildings have more than 6 floors and decrease where they have less than six.
Some experiments in these places pointed also the question of the city noise that can reinforce the potential for violent behaviors occurrences.
Some studies where made about the influence of heat in violence, because in some riots in ghettos where preceded by a vague of heat a week before. The results suggested that the discomfort of heat can augment the latent violent pulsion of some individuals.
So heat and noise are just triggers of aggression but they are not directly connected to the aggressive behavior but can potentiate the already existing aggressiveness.
Culture as a normalizer of the values of Civilization generates tension and anxiety, that is increased because society always uses violent "therapies" to control violence and solve the problems of "order" maintenance.
In the next post, we are going to talk about the violence of everyday's life focused in the aspects of family environment and the violence on the mainstream media and finish by showing the therapeutic possibilities to treat Violence.
Last posts in this series:
Social Reality: Violence, Power and Change
An Introduction to Violence
The Concepts of Violence, Aggression, and Aggressiveness
The Theories on Violence
The influencers of Violence -Part One - Culture and Social Context
The influencers of Violence -Part Two - Social , Cognitive and Environmental Factors - this post
Articles from the next series of posts about Social Reality, Violence, Power and ChangeThe rise of Today's Violence
Power:What is Power?
The Nature of Power
The Dynamics of Power
The Effects and Consequences of Power
Change:Change and Culture
The Theories and conceptualization of Change
Factors determining Change
The ways of Change
References of books consulted:Les concepts fondamentaux de la psychologie sociale - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer
La psychologie sociale - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer
The social-violence dynamics, power, change - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer Planeta / ISPA, 1980
Gustave-Nicolas Fischer is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychology Laboratory at the University of Metz.
French, J. R. P., & Raven, B.H. (1959). The bases of social power.
Castel, R. The metamorphoses of the social question. Voices, 1998.
Moscovici, S. (1976). Social influence and social change. London: Academic Press
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes.