relative deprivation theory

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Relative Deprivation Theory.

This states that aggression may arise if we feel we are ‘hard done by’. In other words, if we perceive that we are deprived of our rights, frustration occurs leading to a ‘readiness’ to be aggressive (Stouffer et al 1949, Berkowitz, 1972).

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This theory can explain why people riot as a result of perceived social deprivation following a ‘triggering’ incident (for example, black community riots in Bristol and Brixton, in the early 1980s) and why aggression is low in societies in which a persons expectations are attainable.