Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Subculture of Violence Hypothesis
The subculture of violence hypothesis refers to a theoretical perspective that argues that violence is a result of a system of accepted norms and beliefs that condone violence in interpersonal relationships. This perspective claims that societal groups statistically associated with high rates of violence hold these norms and beliefs. Traditionally, these groups have been minorities (particularly African Americans), the poor, and those who reside in the South. Marvin Wolfgang and Franco Ferracuti first articulated this perspective in their 1967 book, The Subculture of Violence. They connected the statistical association between poverty and numbers of African Americans and violence with a subcultural normative system that is reflected in psychological traits, resulting in an individual's greater likelihood of using violence. Transmitted through cultural learning, this pro-violence normative system appears most prominent among younger men. Although others later applied the subculture of violence thesis to lethal and nonlethal forms of violence, this In ...