Topic: Why Are Human Violent?

Description
Here are links to the videos we saw in class today.

1) Interview with Professor Jeffrey Butts on increasing violent crimes in America

– https://johnjayrec.nyc/2017/09/27/wrva20170927

2) Gary Slutkin: “Let’s Treat Violence Like a Contagious Disease”

– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZNrOzgNWf4

3) Cure Violence in New York City

– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJFxVr7XwWw

4) Cure Violence in Chicago

– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA9Yr4tAYFA

Here are some additional links in reference to the above media material and to the assigned reading for today.

A. In the audio interview on the recent increase on violence crime, Professor Butts mentions new evidence from NY that the Cure Violence, Interrupters model works. Here is the research he is talking about:

– https://johnjayrec.nyc/2017/10/02/cvinsobronxeastny

B. Here are some of the studies and evaluations that Slutkin points to as evidence that the Cure Violence, Interrupters works.

– http://cureviolence.org/results/scientific-evaluations

We did not go in-depth, but the biological dimension to human behavior is a major part of today’s reading. The hormonal aspect, regulated and maintained by the endocrine system, was a focus of p. 139 to 141. I want to introduce you to the work of Robert Sapolsky, a biologist and primatologist who teaches at Stanford University. I think he does a wonderful job of engaging with the biosocial aspects of human behavioral and the socio-cultural influence on practice. Here are two video links to Sapolsky’s work:

– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp2GMujyC58

– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORthzIOEf30

Remember, our key takeaways from today. “How” and “why” are not the same thing. When are we looking at structure-and-function (or functionalism, which strives to understand how social groups and institutions work) is different from when we are looking for causation (which is the “why” inquiry). Many culturalists are motivated and seek to understand not just social origins, but the meaning and impetus for social thing which they attribute to culture.

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