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Explaining violence - towards a critical friendship with neuroscience?

Ray, Larry J. (2016) Explaining violence - towards a critical friendship with neuroscience? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 46 (3). pp. 335-356. ISSN 0021-8308. E-ISSN 1468-5914. (doi:10.1111/jtsb.12102) (KAR id:53589)

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The neurosciences challenge the ‘standard social science’ model of human behaviour particularly with reference to violence. Although explanations of violence are interdisciplinary it remains controversial to work across the division between the social and biological sciences. Neuroscience can be subject to familiar sociological critiques of scientism and reductionism but this paper considers whether this view should be reassessed. Concepts of brain plasticity and epigenetics could prompt reconsideration of the dichotomy of the social and natural while raising questions about the intersections of materiality, embodiment and social action. Although violence is intimately bound up with the body, sociologies of both violence and the body remain on the surface and rarely go under the skin or skulls of violent actors. This article argues for a non-reductionist realist explanation of violent behaviour that is also interdisciplinary and offers the potential to generate nuanced understandings of violent processes. It concludes that sociology should engage critically and creatively with the neuroscience of violence.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/jtsb.12102
Additional information: Full text uploaded with embargo as per Sherpa/Romeo
Uncontrolled keywords: Social science, violence, critical neuroscience, biosocial intra-actions
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RB Pathology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Laurence Ray
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2016 16:09 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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