Sociological Forum

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 97–128 | Cite as

Collective violence as social control

  • Roberta Senechal de la Roche
Article

Abstract

Collective violence is often social control: self-help by a group. It typically defines and responds to conduct as deviant. When unilateral and nongovernmental, it appears in four major forms—lynching, rioting, vigilantism, and terrorism—each distinguished by its system of liability (individual or collective) and degree of organization (higher or lower). Following Donald Black's paradigm of pure sociology, the central assumption is that collective violence varies with its location and direction in social space—the conflict structure. I offer ten propositions that predict and explain the likelihood and severity of collective violence in general and the four forms of collective violence in particular. Conflict structures with a high degree of relational distance, cultural distance, functional independence, and inequality between the adversaries are associated with collective violence in general. Each of the four forms depends on the degree of social polarization between the parties as well as the continuity of the deviant behavior to which the violence responds.

Key words

collective violence social control conflict structure social polarization continuity of deviant behavior 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ayers, Edward L. 1984 Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the Nineteenth-Century American South. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. 1992 The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bancroft, Hubert Howe 1887 Popular Tribunals, 2 vols. San Francisco: The History Company.Google Scholar
  4. Banerjee, Ashish 1990 “Comparative curfew: Changing dimensions of communal politics in India.” In Veena Das, (ed.). Mirrors of Violence: Communities, Riots, and Survivors in South Asia: 37–68. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Baumgartner, M. P. 1984 “Social control from below.” In Donald Black, (ed.), Toward a General Theory of Social Control, Volume 1: Fundamentals: 37–68. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Beck, E. M., James L. Massey, and Stewart E. Tolnay 1989 “The gallows, the mob, the vote: Lethal sanctioning of blacks in North Carolina and Georgia, 1882–1930.” Law and Society Review 23:317–331.Google Scholar
  7. Beck, E. M. and Stewart E. Tolnay 1990 “The killing fields of the Deep South: The market for cotton and the lynching of blacks, 1882–1930.” American Sociological Review 55:526–539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berk, Richard A. 1972 “The controversy surrounding analyses of collective violence: Some methodological notes.” In James F. Short, Jr., and Marvin E. Wolfgang (eds.), Collective Violence: 112–118. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.Google Scholar
  9. Bercé, Yves-Marie 1990 History of Peasant Revolts: The Social Origins of Rebellion in Early Modern France. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Black, Donald 1976 The Behavior of Law. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  11. 1979 “A strategy of pure sociology.” In Scott G. McNall, (ed.), Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology: 149–168. New York: St. Martin's Press.Google Scholar
  12. 1983 “Crime as social control.” American Sociological Review 48:34–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 1984 “Social control as a dependent variable.” In Donald Black, (ed.), Toward a General Theory of Social Control, Volume 1: Fundamentals: 1–36. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  14. 1987 “Compensation and the social structure of misfortune.” Law and Society Review 21:563–584.Google Scholar
  15. 1990 “The elementary forms of conflict management.” In New Directions in the Study of Justice, Law, and Social Control: 43–69. Prepared by the School of Justice Studies, Arizona State University. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  16. 1993 The Social Structure of Right and Wrong. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  17. 1995 “The epistemology of pure sociology.” Law and Social Inquiry 20:829–870.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Blalock, Hubert M., Jr. 1967 Toward a Theory of Minority-Group Relations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  19. Blumer, Herbert 1946 “Collective behavior.” In Alfred McClung Lee, (ed.), Principles of Sociology: 167–122. New York: Barnes and Noble.Google Scholar
  20. Bonacich, Edna 1972 “A theory of ethnic antagonism: The split labor market.” American Sociological Review 37:547–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Brown, Richard Maxwell 1969 “Historical patterns of violence in America.” In Hugh Davis Graham and Ted Robert Gurr, (eds.), The History of Violence in America: 45–84. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  22. 1975 Strain of Violence: Historical Studies of American Violence and Vigilantism. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. 1991 No Duty to Retreat: Violence and Values in American History and Society. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
  24. Brown, Richard Maxwell, ed. 1970 American Violence. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  25. Brundage, W. Fitzhugh 1993 Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880–1930. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  26. Capeci, Dominic J., Jr. and Martha Wilkerson 1991 Layered Violence: The Detroit Rioters of 1943. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.Google Scholar
  27. Caughey, John W. 1957 “Their majesties the mob.” Pacific Historical Review 26:217–234.Google Scholar
  28. Chaplin, J. P. 1959 Rumor, Fear, and the Madness of Crowds. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  29. Chen, Jack 1980 The Chinese of America. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  30. Clayman, Steven E. 1993 “Booing: The anatomy of a disaffiliative response.” American Sociological Review 58:110–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Cooney, Mark 1994 “Evidence as partisanship.” Law and Society Review 28:833–858.Google Scholar
  32. Curvin, Robert and Bruce Porter 1979 Blackout Looting! New York City, July 13, 1977. New York: Garner Press.Google Scholar
  33. Dahrendorf, Ralf 1968 “Values and social science: The value dispute in perspective.” In Ralf Dahrendorf, Essays in the Theory of Society. (1961). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Davis, Natalie Zemon 1975 Society and Culture in Early Modern France. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Degler, Carl N. 1971 Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  36. Downey, Dennis B. and Raymond M. Hyser 1990 No Crooked Death: Coatesville, Pennsylvania and the Lynching of Zachariah Walker. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  37. Dubofsky, Melvyn 1985 Industrialism and the American Worker, 1865–1920. 2nd ed. Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson.Google Scholar
  38. Edgerton, Robert B. 1972 “Violence in East African tribal societies.” In James F. Short, Jr. and Marvin E. Wolfgang, (eds.), Collective Violence: 159–170. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.Google Scholar
  39. 1989 Mau Mau: An African Crucible. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  40. Feagin, Joe R. and Harlan Hahn 1973 Ghetto Revolts: The Politics of Violence in American Cities. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  41. Fogelson, Robert M. 1970 “Violence and grievances: Reflections on the 1960s riots.” Journal of Social Issues 26:141–163.Google Scholar
  42. Foster, Don 1991 “Crowds and collective violence.” In Don Foster and John Louw-Potgieter, (eds.), Social Psychology in South Africa. Isando, South Africa: Lexicon Publishers.Google Scholar
  43. Fredrickson, George M. 1981 White Supremacy: A Comparative Study in American and South African History. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Freer, Regina 1994 “Black-Korean conflict.” In Mark Baldassare, (ed.), The Los Angeles Riots: Lessons for the Urban Future: 175–203. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  45. Galanter, Marc 1974 “Why the ‘haves’ come out ahead: Speculations on the limits of legal change.” Law and Society Review 9:95–160.Google Scholar
  46. Gilje, Paul A. 1987 The Road to Mobocracy: Popular Disorder in New York City, 1763–1834. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  47. Gluckman, Max 1956 Custom and Conflict in Africa. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  48. 1965 Politics, Law and Ritual in Tribal Society. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  49. Graham, Hugh Davis 1989 “Violence, social theory, and the historians: The debate over consensus and culture in America.” In Ted Robert Gurr, (ed.), Violence in America, Volume 2: Protest, Rebellion, Reform: 329–351. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  50. Granovetter, Mark 1978 “Threshold models of collective behavior.” American Journal of Sociology 83:1420–1443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Greenberg, Louis 1976 The Jews in Russia: The Struggle for Emancipation, Volume 2. (1951). New York: Schocken Books.Google Scholar
  52. Grimshaw, Allen D. 1963 “Actions of the police and the military in American race riots.” Phylon 24:271–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 1972 “Interpreting collective violence: An argument for the importance of social structure.” In James F. Short, Jr. and Marvin E. Wolfgang, (eds.), Collective Violence: 35–46. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.Google Scholar
  54. Grimshaw, Allen D., ed. 1969 Racial Violence in the United States. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  55. Gurr, Ted Robert 1970 Why Men Rebel. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  56. 1989 “The history of protest, rebellion, and reform in America: An overview.” In Ted Robert Gurr, (ed.), Violence in America, Volume 2: Protest, Rebellion, Reform: 11–22. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  57. Henry, Andrew F. and James F. Short 1954 Suicide and Homicide: Some Economic, Sociological and Psychological Aspects of Aggression. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.Google Scholar
  58. Hodes, Martha 1993 “The sexualization of Reconstruction politics: White women and black men in the South after the Civil War.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 3:402–417.Google Scholar
  59. Horwitz, Allan V. 1982 The Social Control of Mental Illness. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  60. 1990 The Logic of Social Control. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  61. Hovland, Carl I. and Robert R. Sears 1940 “Minor studies of aggression: Correlations of economic indices with lynchings.” Journal of Psychology 9:301–310.Google Scholar
  62. Hunter, F. Robert 1991 The Palestinian Uprising: A War by Other Means. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  63. Hurtado, Albert L. 1988 Indian Survival on the California Frontier. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Hussain, Akmal 1990 “The Karachi riots of December 1986: Crisis of state and civil society in Pakistan.” In Veena Das, (ed.), Mirrors of Violence: Communities, Riots, and Survivors in South Asia: 185–193. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  65. Inverarity, James M. 1976 “Populism and lynching in Louisiana, 1889–1896.” American Sociological Review 41:262–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Johnson, David A. 1981 “Vigilance and the law: The moral authority of popular justice in the Far West.” American Quarterly 33:558–586.Google Scholar
  67. Kanapathipillai, Valli 1990 “July 1983: The survivor's experience.” In Veena Das, (ed.), Mirrors of Violence: Communities, Riots, and Survivors in South Asia: 321–344. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Kannangara, A. P. 1984 “The riots of 1915 in Sri Lanka: A study in the roots of communal violence.” Past and Present 102:130–165.Google Scholar
  69. Kerner, O. et al. 1968 Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
  70. Koch, Klaus-Friedrich 1984 “Liability and social structure.” In Donald Black, (ed.), Toward a General Theory of Social Control, Volume 1: Fundamentals: 95–129. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  71. Laurie, Bruce 1980 Working People of Philadelphia, 1800–1850. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  72. LeBon, Gustave 1960 The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. (1895) New York: Viking Press.Google Scholar
  73. Lee, Alfred McClung and Norman D. Humphrey 1943 Race Riot. New York: Dryden Press.Google Scholar
  74. Levin, Jack and Jack McDevitt 1993 Hate Crimes: The Rising Tide of Bigotry and Bloodshed. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  75. Lewis, Michael 1990 Rioters and Citizens: Mass Protest in Imperial Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  76. Lintott, A. W. 1968 Violence in Republican Rome. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Little, Craig B. and Christopher P. Sheffield 1983 “Frontiers and criminal justice: English private prosecution societies and American vigilantism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.” American Sociological Review 48:796–808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Malone, Michael P. and Richard B. Roeder 1976 Montana: A History of Two Centuries. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  79. Mandelbaum, David G. 1970 Society in India, Volume 2: Change and Continuity. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  80. Marx, Gary T. 1970 “Civil disorder and the agents of social control.” Journal of Social Issues 26:19–57.Google Scholar
  81. 1972 “Issueless riots.” In James F. Short and Marvin E. Wolfgang, (eds.), Collective Violence: 47–59. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.Google Scholar
  82. Mazrui, Ali A. 1976 “Black vigilantism in cultural transition: Violence and viability in tropical Africa.” In H. Jon Rosenbaum and Peter C. Sederberg, (eds.), Vigilante Politics: 194–217. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  83. McGrath, Roger D. 1984 Gunfighters, Highwaymen and Vigilantes: Violence on the Frontier. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  84. McMillen, Neil R. 1989 Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  85. Mileski, Maureen 1971 “Policing slum landlords: An observation study of administrative control.” Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Sociology, Yale University.Google Scholar
  86. Moore, Sally Falk 1972 “Legal liability and evolutionary interpretation: Some aspects of strict liability, self-help and collective responsibility.” In Max Gluckman, (ed.), The Allocation of Responsibility: 51–107. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  87. Morrill, Calvin 1992 “Vengeance among executives.” In James Tucker, (ed.), Virginia Review of Sociology, Volume 1: Law and Conflict Management: 51–76. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  88. 1995 The Executive Way: Conflict Management in Corporations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  89. Mullis, Jeffery 1995 “Medical malpractice, social structure, and social control.” Sociological Forum 10:135–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Nash, Gary B. 1974 Red, White, and Black: The Peoples of Early America. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  91. Olzak, Susan 1989 “Labor unrest, immigration, and ethnic conflict in urban America, 1880–1914.” American Journal of Sociology 94:1303–1333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. 1990 “The political context of competition: Lynching and urban racial violence, 1882–1914.” Social Forces 69:395–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. 1992 The Dynamics of Ethnic Competition and Conflict. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  94. Olzak, Susan and Suzanne Shanahan 1994 “School desegregation, interracial exposure, and antibusing activity in contemporary urban America.” American Journal of Sociology 100:196–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Olzak, Susan, Suzanne Shanahan, and Elizabeth McEneaney 1993 “Sources of contemporary racial unrest in the United States: From the 1960s through 1990s.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association, Baltimore, MD.Google Scholar
  96. Porter, Bruce and Marvin Dunn 1984 The Miami Riot of 1980. Lexington, KY: D. C. Heath.Google Scholar
  97. Quinn, Larry D. 1967 “Chink chink Chinaman: The beginning of nativism in Montana.” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 58:82–89.Google Scholar
  98. Radelet, Michael L. 1989 “Executions of whites for crimes against blacks: Exceptions to the rule?” Sociological Quarterly 30:529–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Raper, Arthur F. 1933 The Tragedy of Lynching. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina.Google Scholar
  100. Rediker, Marcus 1987 Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates, and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700–1750. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  101. Regoli, Robert M., Andrew W. Miracle, Jr., and Eric D. Poole 1984 “Law and social control in China: An application of Black's thesis.” Criminal Justice Review 9:1–6.Google Scholar
  102. Rigby, Andrew 1991 Living the Intifada. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  103. Roberts, Michael 1990 “Noise as cultural struggle: Tom-tom beating, the British, and communal disturbances in Sri Lanka, 1880–1930.” In Veena Das, (ed.), Mirrors of Violence: Communities, Riots and Survivors in South Asia. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  104. Roberts, Simon 1979 Order and Dispute: An Introduction to Legal Anthropology. New York: St. Martin's Press.Google Scholar
  105. Rosenbaum, H. Jon and Peter C. Sederberg, eds. 1976 Vigilante Politics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  106. Roy, Beth 1994 Some Trouble with Cows: Making Sense of Social Conflict. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  107. Rudé, George 1964 The Crowd in History: A Study of Popular Disturbances in France and England, 1730–1848. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  108. Rudwick, Elliott 1964 Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  109. Rule, James 1988 Theories of Civil Violence. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  110. Senechal [de la Roche], Roberta 1990 The Sociogenesis of a Race Riot: Springfield, Illinois, in 1908. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  111. Senechal de la Roche, Roberta 1997 “The sociogenesis of lynching.” In W. Fitzhugh Brundage, (ed.), Under Sentence of Death: Essays on Lynching in the South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
  112. Senkewicz, Robert M. 1985 Vigilantes in Gold Rush San Francisco. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  113. Sessions, Gene A. 1976 “Myth, Mormonism, and murder in the South.” South Atlantic Quarterly 57:212–225.Google Scholar
  114. Shalev, Aryeh 1991 The Intifada: Causes and Effects. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  115. Shipler, David K. 1986 Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in the Promised Land. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  116. Shotland, R. Lance 1976 “Spontaneous vigilantes.” Society 13:30–32.Google Scholar
  117. Smelser, Neil J. 1963 Theory of Collective Behavior. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  118. Stone, Thomas 1979 “The Mounties as vigilantes: Perceptions of community and the transformation of law in the Yukon, 1885–1897.” Law and Society Review 14:83–114.Google Scholar
  119. 1988 Miners' Justice: Migration, Law and Order on the Alaska-Yukon Frontier, 1873–1902. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  120. Taft, Philip and Philip Ross 1969 “American labor violence: Its causes, character, and outcome.” In Hugh Davis Graham and Ted Robert Gurr, (eds.), The History of Violence in America: 281–395. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  121. Tambiah, Stanley J. 1990 “Presidential address: Reflections on communal violence in South Asia.” Journal of Asian Studies 49:741–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  122. Thompson, E. P. 1975 “The crime of anonymity.” In Douglas Hay et al. (eds.), Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England: 255–344. New York: Pantheon Press.Google Scholar
  123. Tierney, Kathleen J. 1994 “Property damage and violence: A collective behavior analysis.” In Mark Baldassare, (ed.), The Los Angeles Riots: Lessons for the Urban Future: 149–173. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  124. Tilly, Charles 1969 “Collective violence in European perspective.” In Hugh Davis Graham and Ted Robert Gurr, (eds.), Violence in America: Historical and Comparative Perspectives: 4–45. New York: Signet Books.Google Scholar
  125. 1978 From Mobilization to Revolution. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  126. Tilly, Charles, Louise Tilly, and Richard Tilly 1975 The Rebellious Century, 1830–1930. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  127. Tolnay, Stewart E. and E. M. Beck 1995 A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of the Lynching of Blacks in the American South, 1882–1930. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  128. Tolnay, Stewart E., E. M. Beck, and James L. Massey 1989 “Black lynchings: The power threat hypothesis revisited.” Social Forces 67:605–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  129. Torrance, Judy M. 1986 Public Violence in Canada, 1867–1982. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.Google Scholar
  130. Trelease, Allan W. 1971 White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  131. Tucker, James 1989 “Employee theft as social control.” Deviant Behavior 10:319–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  132. Turner, Ralph H. 1964 “Collective behavior.” In Robert E. L. Faris, (ed.), Handbook of Modern Sociology. Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  133. Tuttle, William M., Jr. 1970 Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919. New York: Atheneum.Google Scholar
  134. Von der Mehden, Fred R. 1976 “Pariah' communities and violence.” In H. Jon Rosenbaum and Peter C. Sederberg, (eds.), Vigilante Politics: 218–233. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  135. Wade, Craig Wyn 1987 The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  136. Weinberg, Robert 1993 The Revolution of 1905 in Odessa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  137. Weisburd, David 1989 Jewish Settler Violence: Deviance as Social Reaction. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  138. Williamson, Joel 1984 The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  139. Wright, George C. 1990 Racial Violence in Kentucky, 1865–1940: Lynchings, Mob Rule, and “Legal Lynchings.” Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.Google Scholar
  140. Wyatt-Brown, Bertram 1982 Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta Senechal de la Roche
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryWashington and Lee UniversityLexington

Personalised recommendations