Counting and accounting for the decline in non-lethal violence in England, Australie, and New Zealand, 1880-1920

This article contends that researchers have made two false assumptions about the history of violence and violent crime in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. First, that judicial statistics appearing to show an accelerating decline in violent crime towards the fin de siecle actually mirror...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:The British journal of criminology
Main Author: Godfrey, Barry (Author)
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
Published: 2003
In:The British journal of criminology
Year: 2003, Volume: 43, Issue: 2, Pages: 340-353
Online Access: doi
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 7
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Summary:This article contends that researchers have made two false assumptions about the history of violence and violent crime in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. First, that judicial statistics appearing to show an accelerating decline in violent crime towards the fin de siecle actually mirror a real fall, and that violence was becoming less prevalent in society. Second, that the prosecution figures evidence a changing public attitudes towards violence in the 1880-1920 period. These assumptions have helped to shape rather inadequate and schematic theoretical paradigms which link changing public sensibilities towards violence with the reformation of aggressive masculinity, and the civilization' of society. This article suggests that transcribed life histories can offer the researcher a greater understanding of public attitudes towards violence; and it therefore presents archival evidence from England, Australia and New Zealand to illustrate collective attitudes toward non-lethal violence/violent crime at the turn of the twentieth century
ISSN:0007-0955
DOI:10.1093/bjc/43.2.340