Making Sense of 'Senseless' Violence. Analyzing Offender Accounts

Willem de Haan, University of Groningen

In this paper, results are presented of research on 'senseless' street violence, i.e. random violence between strangers outside, i.e. in the street. In order to gain insight into their motives offenders were interviewed and asked to describe at length what had happened and why. In order to do justice to the complexity of the notion of offender motivation a careful analysis of the narrative, interactive, cognitive, affective and reflexive aspects of their accounts was required. In conclusion, an integrated model is presented which combines the aspects of agency, identity, dioscursive consciousness and embodiment.

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Updated 05/20/2006