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Violence and Society

Violence and Society

Second Edition

October 2018 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This highly respected title comes revised and updated in a second edition to provide you with a contemporary overview of violence and society.

Clearly and lucidly written, this book offers broad coverage of theoretical debates, using case studies from the author’s own extensive research to bring the various theories alive. With a sociological approach throughout, it provides up-to-date coverage of key topics including gender and violence, collective violence and media and violence.

New to this edition:

  • Three new chapters on ‘Collective Violence’, ‘Violence and the Visual’ and ‘Theories of Violence'
  • Material on sex offending and the night-time economy
  • Learning features in each chapter and an ‘at-a-glance’ overview within the introduction

Introduction - What is Violence?
1. Theories of Violence
2. Elias and the Civilizing Process
3. Violence and Urban Space
4. Gender and Violence
5. Domestic Violence
6. Explaining Homicide
7. The Politics of 'Hate Crime'
8. Collective Violence
9. Modernity and the Holocaust
10. Violence and the Visual

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.

David Smith, Lancaster University

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.

John Brewer, Queen's University

This is one of the most comprehensive general studies of violence available. In this thoroughly revised and updated second edition Larry Ray provides in-depth analysis of micro, mezzo and macro research on violence across many disciplines. The book successfully brings together advanced sociological theory and up to date empirical material. With its wide-ranging scope, accessible prose and a wealth of original insights this book will appeal equally to scholars and students of violence.

Siniša Maleševic, University College, Dublin

Larry Ray's book Violence & Society gives an essential overview of the relevant literature and topics as well as examples from current empirical research. I commend the author for including the topics 'collective violence', 'media representation' and 'theories' as well as 'sex work/prostitution' and 'human trafficing' in the new edition. Some of the author's priorities limit my personal use of the chapters; i.e. the centering of masculinity in the 'gender' chapters, the centering of 'hate' regarding violence targeted at racialized people and the limited discussion of sexualized violence, which is a central topic in both gendered violence and war/conflict violence. Although this limits my personal use of the book, it is an insightful read for novices to the sociology of violence and researchers who want to build dialogue with colleagues in other fields.

Miss Jana Schäfer
My department is not listed, Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus
November 25, 2019


School of Planning and Landscape, Manchester University
September 9, 2019

Larry Ray's book gives an excellent insight into the history, phenomena, causes and consequences of violence. It refers to recent empirical studies as well as to the main approaches to understanding the phenomena of violence in societies. It is an introduction like a report on current findings. I have read the book as a German researcher on violence and will use it in my seminars and courses. Andreas Zick, Director, Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, Bielefeld University, Germany

Professor Andreas Zick
Interdiscipline, Universität Bielefeld
November 2, 2018

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