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Josh R. Klein

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Toward a Cultural Criminology of War

We can improve criminological understanding of aggressive war by examining its cultural aspects. Criminological and other traditions help us to see how elite legitimation of criminal military policies involves the ideological “enlistment” of part of the public. After briefly discussing war-promoting political-economic and institutional forces, the author outlines individual-level processes such as socialization of fear, alienation, which causes a pessimistic view of human nature, definitions of the situation suppressing past in-group violence, obedience to authority, and normalization of deviance. These and other processes result in widespread, but not universal, apathy, support, or enthusiasm about war.

ideology, state-corporate crime, war, culture, legitimation, socialization

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 38, No. 3 (2011): 86-103

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