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Williams, A.H. (1969). The Subculture of Violence: Towards an Integrated Theory in Criminology: By Marvin E. Wolfgang and Franco Ferracuti. London: Tavistock Publications. 1967. Pp. 387.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:256-257.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:256-257

The Subculture of Violence: Towards an Integrated Theory in Criminology: By Marvin E. Wolfgang and Franco Ferracuti. London: Tavistock Publications. 1967. Pp. 387.

Review by:
A. Hyatt Williams

In this book an American sociologist and an Italian psychologist formulate ideas about criminology. They state that the sources of data and ideas in criminological science stem from many different disciplines. They claim that too many approaches are isolated. They feel that there is a considerable need for the establishment of collateral linkages and from then on they favour an advance towards the development of criminology as an integrative scientific discipline with wide practical application and relevance; for example, most importantly in the control and prevention of crime.

Part of the task which the authors set themselves is the delineation and validation of the idea that a subculture of violence exists. In this they are successful and clearly differentiate between an ordinary culture in which there may be found, for various reasons, eruptions of violence from individuals and a criminal subculture in which violence, cruelty, destructiveness even amounting to murder are part of the subcultural social norm. In this subculture violence and murder are used as instruments of power, status, wealth or a kind of security which can be gained and maintained by such methods. The relationship of conscience and regret for injury inflicted upon a victim is quite different in a member of the subculture of violence from those in a person not in the subculture who has committed a crime involving a similar amount of violence and injury. In the subculture, group support is for violence as an accepted factor in interpersonal relationships.

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