|Author(s)||David R. Gibson|
|Title||The micro-foundations of macro-violence: how heads of state justify the use of force|
|Editor(s)||Elliott B. Weininger, Annette Lareau, Omar Lizardo|
|City||New York, NY|
|Book title||Ritual, Emotion, Violence: Studies on the Micro-sociology of Randall Collins|
Randall Collins’ Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory (2008) is about the psychological difficulty of physically aggressing against another human being, especially when that person can be looked in the eye. For violence to occur, this “confrontational tension/fear” has to be overcome or circumvented, and it is his task to identify techniques for doing this in a book that spans many forms of violence, including that perpetrated by mobs, police, soldiers, criminals, and abusive spouses. We can, for example, train for violence so that it is an engrained reaction. We can kill from a distance. We can focus on the audience, team members, rules and etiquette, or technique. We can take someone by surprise so as not to have to look them in the eye before knocking them on the head. We can also be overcome by emotion, such as that which accumulates in the course of an extended chase, until it comes spilling out in a frenzy of violence against the cornered victim (or some proxy).