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Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1996 Jan;66(1):77-84.

Preventing violence in a structurally violent society: mission impossible.

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  • 1School of Social Welfare, Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., USA.


The futility of violence prevention efforts by government, professional organizations, and social advocacy movements should not be surprising, since the aim of these efforts has been primarily to control, punish, and modify the behavior of individuals involved in violence, rather than to discern and eliminate its root causes in the fabric of societies. This paper argues that efforts to prevent violence will continue to fail, as long as its sources in oppressive and unjust social conditions and values are not understood, confronted, and eradicated.

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