DOMESTIC VIOLENCEFROM: VIOLENCE: A MICRO-SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSISBY RANDALL COLLINSSOC 101
HOW DOES VIOLENCE START?Recall that according to Collins, in order for violence to take place, the parties involved must find a pathway around confrontational tension/fear. Here, “fear” is tension that breaks the fundamental solidarity ritual – the propensity for mutual entrainment.The most prominent of such pathways is – attacking a weak victim.
VIOLENCE AS AN INTERACTIONAL PROCESSA violent conflict, in its first moments and until dominance is established, is an interaction ritual that has a very strong mutual focus of attention. However, the rhythms attempted by the two sides are not initially in tune with each other. The struggle of the prospective perpetrator, to get the prospective victim attuned to his/her (the perp’s) own rhythm; working against the victim’s effort to evade this attunement or to bend the perp’s will to the victim’s own rhythm – this is at the core of the confrontational tension.
VIOLENCE AS AN INTERACTIONAL PROCESSSuccessful aggression is action no longer at cross-purposes. The action has become coordinated. The aggressor has successfully pushed the target into a particular type of entrainment, wherein the aggressor has the dominant role and the target responds to that dominance. In domestic abuse, we can see this micro-process of one party taking on the role of victim.
VIOLENCE AS AN INTERACTIONAL PROCESSAbusers get carried away on a freight train of emotional momentum, often leading to atrocities. This happens because of the way in which the struggle to get through the confrontational tension flows into an especially vicious form of entrainment between the initially resistant, now weak victim and the momentarily-struggling but now dominant abuser. Dominance in such situations consists of taking control of the emotional definition of the situation.
ABUSE OF THE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLEVictims of domestic abuse are especially likely to have a disability or chronic illness. This is a pattern in child abuse and abuse of elders and other vulnerable adults. While abuse of especially helpless victims seems especially vicious, the perpetrators tend to be rather average persons caught up in a distinctive temporal dynamic…
ABUSE OF THE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLECaring for persons who need ongoing care due to serious disabilities or chronic illnesses is a type of work that requires a certain degree of sympathy or altruism for one’s fellow humans. However, altruism is an ideal that is easiest to practice when you have to do it only a short period of time.
ABUSE OF THE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLEPlaying the altruistic role for an extended period of time tends to cause caregiver burnout. At the same time, the person receiving the care has the idea in his/her head that the caregiver has made a commitment to be altruistic.