Sensation Seeking in Street Violence: A Micro-Sociological Reassessment

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperFormidling

Sensation seeking leads to violence—runs an influential hypothesis in the social scientific study of violent behavior. Although studies confirm that violence is sometimes structured by sensation-seeking motives, the literature seldom comments on the limits to this explanation of violence. The present study exam-ines the scale of violence motivated by sensation seeking and the degree to which there are several distinct forms of sensation seeking motives operative in violence, rather than a sensation-seeking motive in the singular. The study draws on a sam-ple of situations from Copenhagen involving street violence, which are coded quantitatively and qualitatively. Our analysis shows that sensation seeking only seldom seems to play a role in the structuring of street violence. Moreover, the data indicate that sensation seeking finds expression in street violence situations in two different ways: Besides egoistic pleasure in exerting violence against the other, sensation seeking is expressed as social enjoyment in being part of a violent interaction with the other. Implications from these findings, limitations and sug-gestions for further research are discussed.
StatusUdgivet - 2016
BegivenhedASA: American Sociological Association: Annual Meeting - Seattle, USA
Varighed: 18 aug. 201623 aug. 2016


KonferenceASA: American Sociological Association

ID: 153044096