Outline and evaluate explanations of institutional aggression.

Authors Avatar by niralix (student)

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. This may be because they learn to deal with situations better. There is evidential research to support the deprivation model. Evidence shows that peer violence is used to relieve the deprivation imposed by institutional cultures. For example McCorkle showed that overcrowding, lack of privacy and lack of meaningful activity influence peer violence in prison inmates However Nijman et al's research in psychiatric institutions found increased personal space failed to decrease levels of violence and this goes against the deprivation model. However we can not compare these two studies as they were conducted on different group samples with different settings and circumstances. We can not compare psychiatric patients to prison inmates. They were also conducted by two different investigators who could both interpret aggression in different ways and conducted the research in different ways, so we must take into account other factors that could have influenced their results such as settings. Finally, it is only two studies. To generalise results we would need to conduct more studies in order to achieve a full picture.

Join now!

        Another type of aggression seen in institutions is hazing which is a form of institutional bullying based on tradition within groups to discipline junior members which is aimed to make real men physically and mentally tough and to discipline them to obey their superiors. A study of over 11,000 US students involved in clubs and teams revealed that at lest half had experience hazing. However we have to take into account that it was conducted on US students so it is not representative of the whole population so we can not generalise it to other populations Nuwer also went ...

This is a preview of the whole essay