Sociology - Violence

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I received this article out of the American Journal of Sociology. This particular issue starts on page 173 of the July issue of the year 2000. This article caught my attention because violence has seemed to be increasing lately in my view and would like to read further into the study of how violence is broken down. People have wondered and have committed a large amount of effort and time to find the reason why and where collective violence breaks out. Analyst have typically treated riot events as independent from others, when they are not. People see information of one act that can have an affect of future acts of the same nature. one must first understand how influences are transmitted, flows, and is received through communication process to understand collective violence or riots. The first question that the author asks about is the contageousness of the events of a riot. She asks whether extremely big riots were more likely to break out than small civil disorders where no one was killed or injured, non were arrested, and not a lot of property damage was done. The result of the study was that the bigger, more severe riots were more prone to being contagious and influential to others. This affect is short-lived and usually lasts about a week. The second question that the author researched is that if collective actors are more likely than others to imitate. As many have pointed out, connected actors in a social system do not all have the same influence on each other and are not all influenced in the same way. The differences may be from a number of reasons including characteristics of the actor that make them more likely to imitate the action of others. The results of her study showed that this does come into play in that there are always more riots in big cities than in small cities, but the difference wanes over time because riots in the big cities are starting riots in small cities, but the big cities are paying no attention to the riots that are going on the small cities. The third question that the author tested is how influence flows through a communication network that connects cities. They found that network diffusion flows through the communication web for short amounts of time. With the results that have found there are two major points about diffusion of collective violence and the diffusion of social behaviors in general. One of them is that the influence of diffusion on producing collective behavior is immense. In the past thirty years people have went on nothing to predict a riot on the amounts of blacks in a population and whether or not a city was located in the south. But with this study, tries to prove that diffusion will be found to be an extraordinarily important force in the other waves of collective violence and other social protests as well. The second observation is the importance of the mass media in driving waves of collective behavior. The diffusion of social process relies on communication networks. If a person is unaware, how can they react? Well, they can’t. Therefore, access to the communication network is critical to all three of the major findings in this case. All of the factors are related to mass media. Differences in susceptibility appear heavily influenced by media. In the present, this seems to be an indicator of long standing patterns of communication flow, but reflects the cultural and political importance of larger populations. The neglect of some of the cities importance to the riot are more influential than that from the neglect of smaller areas. More evidence for the core-periphery was found. Beyond the results that riots are more contagious within the area of the broadcast area of the television station, and also that cities with television stations have more impact on cities without television broadcast systems. Also, the bigger cities have the equipment and the resources to broadcast these situations, and the smaller cities do not. Therefore, riots are more likely to spread in surrounding areas of a big city rather than a small city. The study also found that lack of support for some hypothesis like that infectious and network indicators are ineffective in predicting trends in riot rates. This means that each fusing phenomenon must be examined in much detail to understand how the process works. Riots start with an immediate spike that is accented by the severity of the riot, and then quickly declines. In contract, televisions are used by the same actors that can carry the effect onto others. Also, riots are dependent on the media to carry the contagiousness. Once a riot has lost media attention, it will likely cease and lose its potential in the diffusion process. The diffusion of this social phenomenon is derived from several subprocesses. While event history diffusion has provided new means, this approach is still new and a great deal of work to do. Therefore, they are far from a comprehensive statement on this. The operationalization of infectiousness, susceptibility, and media do not exhaust the possibilities. There are several other indicators might index these such as prestige and prominence among the set of actors. Also, the end of a riot shows the possibility of negative diffusion effects. These may be though of as inoculation effects since the last event on the city. This could provide a permanent resistance to the contagious influence. Other characteristics of a city may be useful in finding the susceptibil

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