A brave, ambitious and original book that ranges widely across disciplines and from close analysis of local patterns of violence to some of the largest questions of human history and social theory. Compared with most criminological texts it is like a breath of fresh air
David SmithProfessor of Criminology, Lancaster University
Violence is one of these main human mysteries that deserve a strong renewal within social science. And today, a new generation of researchers is appearing, that takes this challenge seriously, and proposes new analytical tools in order to deal with violence. Discussing Norbert Elias, and introducing original ideas about masculinity, the body, or on the Holocaust, Larry Ray appears with this book as one of the leading scholars in this new generation
Michel WieviorkaPresident ISA (2006-2010), and President of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (Paris)
Larry Ray's Violence and Society offers an intelligent distillation of many crucial areas of study... The most obvious advantage of Ray's new book is that it often appears to forget that it is indeed a textbook. It roams around the broad intellectual panorama of the social sciences and humanities, overstepping restrictive disciplinary barriers without a care... Violence and Society is a book that criminology has sorely needed for some time, and a godsend for those of us teaching undergraduate courses on violence. It is that rarest of things: an intelligent and challenging textbook that goes beyond the received wisdom. I unreservedly recommend it.
Simon WinlowBritish Journal of Criminology
[Violence and Society] provides an excellent analysis of many forms of violence and opens your eyes to the fact that violence is not as straightforward as many people think. The author has a vast array of experience researching in the field, from the ethno-nationalist civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, to projects on racial violence as part of the ESRC’s Violence Research Programme. This experience is evident in the way in which he has constructed and written the book... Violence and Society is easy to read and follow, making the text perfect for an undergraduate student delving into the field of violence. It helps to place many criminological theories in context. Postgraduate students will also find the book useful as a starting point for further research into violence. I enjoyed reading this book and will be recommending it to colleagues as an essential text on many criminology modules.
Rashid AzizCrime, Media, Culture
Sociology has long focused on conflict but has relatively neglected violence as one of its forms and methods. In this new edition of Larry Ray's pioneering book, we have a thorough engagement with violence in its many modes and causes. He provides an intelligent social theory of violence that represents a powerful application of the sociological imagination, and like C Wright Mills, in many ways he offers us a striking diagnosis of the modern condition, with its propensity to violence.
This new edition of Violence and Society skilfully updates the 2011 version, with a wealth of new theoretical and empirical material and two new chapters, on collective violence and the power of visual representations of violence and its effects. All the virtues of the first edition – empirical richness, theoretical breadth and intellectual imagination – are again in evidence and enhanced by the new material, including a brilliant demonstration of how microsocial theory can be developed to explain macrosocial violence. The book is an important and distinctive contribution to research and scholarship on violence.