Crime and Coercion: An Integrated Theory of Chronic by Mark Colvin (auth.)

By Mark Colvin (auth.)

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Personal horrification describes the experience of a child who witnesses his mother being battered by his father. “Thus, although the experience of personal horrification may be less traumatizing than violent subjugation from a physical standpoint, it is not less traumatizing from a psychological standpoint” (Athens 1992: 44). In addition, such experiences combine with the subject’s own experiences of violent subjugation to create a mixture of resignation and vengeful motives. Both direct and indirect experiences of violent subjugation entail coercive behavioral modeling, which Athens (1992: 46) terms violent coaching.

Extremely repressed individuals, who have the highest general predisposition for deviance but are also the most constrained, are cut off from acts of predation and defiance and must submit. Such slavish submission is considered deviant in a culture like ours that prizes freedom and autonomy. The greater the control deficit, the less serious the deviance. 32 Crime and Coercion Control surpluses have a positive relation to the seriousness of deviance. The greater the control surplus, the more serious the deviance.

Coercion creates strain in the form of anger; it contributes to weak, alienated social bonds, low selfefficacy, an external locus of control, and, if delivered on an erratic schedule, low self-control. And it becomes a provocation that produces a deviant motivation. These social-psychological variables are altered depending on the degree of coercion and consistency in control relations. In the discussion below, we explore the social-psychological and behavioral outcomes produced by the four types of control.

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