Cause Of Violence

A man toils away at a degrading job, continually mocked and humiliated by colleges and superiors, but cannot respond for fear of losing his job. He is stuck in a dead end without any hope of succeeding with his goals in life. He goes home and takes his anger out on his wife and children.

Germany, defeated and ashamed after the First World War, is further humiliated by the Versailles Treaty. It cannot respond to those who are causing the humiliation so it takes out its rage and frustration on the Jews.

These are both examples of the Frustration Aggression Theory. This is the idea that preventing someone from attaining their goals creates frustration. If the person cannot respond to the cause of the frustration, it will take its aggression out on a weaker target or scapegoat.

It could be seen as a possible explanation for last year’s London Riots. The rioters were alienated from society and the police force due to unemployment, poverty, alleged police brutality, government cutbacks and isolation. The feeling that they were not part of society, that they were outcasts, created frustration. As society is an inanimate object, they could not directly respond, so took out their anger on random objects in the form of looting and burning.

The theory could be applied to revolutions. Revolutionaries and guerrillas usually come from the poorer sections of society. It is possible that they are frustrated by their poverty and lack of opportunities and express this frustration through violence. After all, the Arab Spring was set off by a single frustrated young man, sick of being constantly hassled by the repressive Tunisian state.

It has been theorised that after a football match, the losing team is more likely to act aggressively or be the cause of violence

It is found that bullying may also be caused by frustration. Bullies often suffer from physical violence at home. It is argued that they take out their frustration on weaker classmates. Some even believe it could be an explanation for school shootings. Often the perpetrator is ostracised from social groups and bullied. It is argued that they are preventing from reaching their goals (in the form of friends and social acceptance) and resort to violence to take out their frustration.

While it is not a perfect theory and modifications could be made towards it, it is certainly a very interesting and useful explanation of the cause of violence.

 

5 Comments

Filed under Politics

5 responses to “Cause Of Violence

  1. It certainly seems intuitively sensible. What research has been done?

    • I think most of the studies on it have been done in a psychology context, which I’d know very little about. From the little reading I have done it seems to have gone out of fashion, though I’m not really sure why. I would have expected a lot more to have been done, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot out there

  2. Pingback: What Causes Riots? | Robert Nielsen

  3. Johannes

    The political theorist Hannah Arendt wrote a book ‘On Violence’ an interesting read.

  4. Lenard

    The answer is that
    Jesus as a not a sinner
    Was punished by devils and died.

    Therefore if you’re a sinner
    And God wants to save you

    Devil can’t acuse God of being
    unfair to save a sinner. They can’t
    sich things as(Devil
    should also be forgiven, etc etc)

    Because. The devils punished Jesus
    who is not a sinner
    Then now who the Devils are
    to tell God he’s unfair if
    he’s gonna forgive sinner

    A fair trade
    they punished Jesus even he’s not a sinner
    And God will forgive whoever he want even
    he’s a sinner

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