Link to Birdie Calendar Self Test on Family Control in Child Violence

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Self Tests


California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 10, 2001
Latest update: March 16, 2001

Family Control and Child Violence

See Index and articles on this issue. Will clean up shortly, jeanne

This self test is based on a Violent societies make violent children book review by Erin Driscoll, Law Society Journal (NSW, Australia), October 1997, page 95. Cite as (1997) 35 (9) LSJ 95 .
Discussion Questions

  1. Erin Driscoll suggests in his review of Violent societies make violent children that the media grossly distort child violence? What is wrong with the media portrayal?

    jeanne's lecture notes on one plausible response:

    Erin Driscoll suggests that the media ignore "the complexity of violence." "Media coverage of the murder of two-year-old James Bulger produced images of such children as pathological murderers, ignoring the complexity of violence." The media sensationalize the event, rather than reporting the event in all its complexity.

  2. Erin Driscoll says that "the explanation for violence in any one individual is the result of internal and external variables." How would Henry and Milovanovic express this in constitutive theory?

    jeanne's lecture notes on one plausible response:

    Henry and Milovanovic would speak of the interdependence of agency and structural context. By this I mean that I think Henry and Milovanovic would agree that there is no single factor or predictor that can be used to predict violent behavior because that result depends on the interaction between the child's metabolism and physical wellness (internal), the social situation in which the child finds himself (external), the adult attempts to control or even to notice the violence predictors (external), and the child's mental state (internal). There are too many variables in this mix for it to offer us precise answers. What it does offer us, as Henry and Milovanovic suggest it should, is an awareness of the interdependence of all these factors, and the interdependence of agency (the child's and the parents' individual control) and the structural context (the normative expectations by which we are surrounded) and the institutional context (which has its own set of normative expectation).