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
Amy C. Finnegan
Violence is an injurious force exerted to cause damage to people or things. Shaped by a multitude of social, political, and economic forces within families, neighborhoods, nation-states, and the broader international community, violence is a complex problem related to patterns of thinking and behavior. It embodies an expression of power often used to demonstrate authority or repression, or to persuade others to behave in particular ways. Also characterizing violence is an element of intent by its perpetrator. Intention is obvious in physical forms of violence but is minimally evident or even nonexistent in its structural or symbolic forms. Finally, discussions about violence often take on a moral tone, classifying it as just or unjust. Violence, therefore, is an amorphous phenomenon that defies easy categorization as it surfaces in numerous shapes. Still, it is useful to consider three broad forms: physical, structural, and symbolic. This entry describes all three formations of ...