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Outline and evaluate explanations of institutional aggression.

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Introduction

´╗┐Nirali Jethwa Outline and evaluate explanations of institutional aggression. Aggression refers to angry or threatening behaviour that is intended to cause harm or pain psychologically or physically. Institutional aggression occurs within or between groups or institutions such as the armed forces, in prisons, hospitals or schools, or in social groups for example the Nazi's. Institutional aggression can occur within an institution. This can been seen by statistics showing over 84,000 violent or abusive incidents against staff in the NHS. Irwin and Cressey suggested the importation model which claims prisoners bring their own history and traits with them into prison. They argue that prisoners are not blank-slates when they enter the prison. This model takes into account interpersonal factors that effect the behaviour of inmates towards each other and staff. Another model is the deprivation model that tries to explain aggression in institutions. This model takes into account situational factors. It states that prisoner/patient aggression stems from the stressful and oppressive conditions of the institution, for example crowding which assumes will increase the fear and frustration levels. Staff experience also has shown to play a role in aggression. Davies and Burgesss proved the more experienced officers are less likely to suffer assault. ...read more.

Middle

With hazing it is difficult to investigate as many would see it as a bit of fun that benefits them in the long run. However we have seen hazing can get out of control and cause lasting physical and mental harm. There are also problems with investigation. We have already seen it is difficult to define, but aggression is also difficult to investigate empirically because of the dehumanising nature. It is also difficult to determine what is and what dehumanising behaviour isn?t. There is also an ethical problem for researchers as it is ethically wrong to study people who have been subjected to dehumanising violence, but also to study people who are in psychiatric wards for example who are not capable of giving full consent. There is also examples of violence between institutions and groups for example genocide which results from a difficult social condition to scapegoating the less powerful group which results in the dehumanisation of the target group. This causes moral values to become inapplicable and the killing begins. Dehumanisation is a key part in genocide and it is when members of the less powerful group are made to seem worthless and not worth of moral consideration. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the soldiers may have believed they had no choice. Where as the study on the personality trait shows less freewill and follows the determinism debate as it states that because it is personality caused by genetics it is hard to choose not to behave in that way. This explanation also follows the nature debate as part of the explanation suggests our aggressive behaviour is due to our personality and genes which are biological and are products of our genes. The importation model also follows the nature approach because it states for example prisoners are products of their own history and traits which are not learnt but are predisposed. However it also suggests it follows the nurture approach because aggressive behaviour can be triggered by media, for example the radio broadcasts encouraging Hutu listeners to murder Tutsi neighbours because they are ?cockroaches?. The deprivation model is also nurture as it states aggression is the product of conditions such as overcrowding which shows it is a product of their environment. Finally we have to consider ethics. It is hard to gain consent from psychiatric patients who are not capable of giving consent. It is also ethically wrong to study people who have been dehumanised as they are probably not in the right state of mind. We also have to consider psychical harm caused by aggression, hazing or research finding. ...read more.

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