Because of this emphasis on shared experience in social groupings, social theories are most useful in suggesting ways in which behavior change can be accomplished by addressing social phenomena rather than by attempting to alter the individual.
Violence was not always the concern that it now is (Brown, 1979).
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In many cases, the account works to justify further or increased violence (Staub, 1990).
In the formal process of theory-building, scholars also attempt to understand and to explain social phenomena.
In the past, some violent acts were integrated into society by either justifying the violent actions or by attributing the actions to individual psychopathology.
This article presents a social perspective on violence that calls attention to the meanings of violence and to other social factors that promote and support or, alternatively, oppose and restrict violence.
Individuals can be in the same place or be exposed to the same events electronically, or they can use a symbolic means to communicate their experiences to others.
It is the combined experiences of many individuals, shared in these ways, that makes up a culture, a society, or a family.
The social approach to violence includes both formal and informal understandings.
What these understandings have in common is their emphasis on the common—rather than the individual—experience.