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Violence explained? A review of theoretical explanations of violent behavior

Jamil Ahmad Chitrali, Noor Sanauddin & Syed Owais

Abstract
There is a large body of theories and research on violence and criminal behavior in the social sciences, mostly coming from psychology and sociology. While psychologists in most cases tend to focus on individuals in face-to-face interaction and neglect large scale conflict between people and groups, sociologists, on the other hand, mostly focus their analysis on the social
structure to explain how violent behavior of an individual or group may be socially and culturally embedded. In this paper, we briefly review some of the major theoretical perspectives that have attempted to explain violent behavior. These perspectives include those macro theories focusing on social structure on the societal level, and those micro level theories focusing on personality characteristics on individual level. Our aim is to reveal the common points of these theories in order to help in better understanding violence and aggressive
behavior. Moreover, this paper will also help researchers on violence and aggression in choosing the right theoretical model for analyzing research findings.

Keywords: violence, aggression, crimes, theories, individual, social structure.