In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Violence

  • Introduction
  • Introductory Works
  • Textbooks
  • Manuals and Guides
  • School Violence
  • Community and Street Violence
  • Media Violence

Related Articles Expand or collapse the "related articles" sectionabout

Forthcoming Articles Expand or collapse the "forthcoming articles" section


Social Work Violence
Lisa Rapp-Paglicci
  • LAST REVIEWED: 04 January 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0036


Violence has been a part of American culture since its inception and has always been found in many facets of American life. Violence is devastating yet inexplicably intriguing, and many fields have contributed to the knowledge base on the subject. Criminology, sociology, law, psychology, social work, anthropology, and pop culture have all attempted to shed light on this phenomenon. Significant advances have been made regarding the understanding, typology, prevention, and treatment of violence and its aggressors and victims. Yet rates of violence are still unacceptably high, and victims of violence still experience trauma that has acute and chronic effects. There continues to be significant work to be done. The topic of violence is expansive. There are numerous types of violence and places where violence occurs. Consequently the field has been divided into subspecialties, resulting in sources and experts not focusing solely on the subject of violence but rather on the subspecialty. This bibliography will provide some beginning introductory sources on the general topic of violence and then will focus on resources regarding school, community and street, and media violence.

Introductory Works

Most sources do not analyze violence as a whole; rather they tend to focus on a particular type of violence. However, the following sources provide a strong introduction to the general topic of violence. Adler and Denmark 2004 provides a global perspective on violence in different countries. Englander 2007 provides a contemporary view of violence to help readers understand what has been learned about violence from research. Palermo 2004 explains violence from various theoretical viewpoints and manifestations. Waldrep and Bellesiles 2006 is a must read for those interested in a historical perspective of violence in the United States. Flannery, et al. 2007 presents a comprehensive review of the topic, as does Rapp-Paglicci, et al. 2002. Both are highly recommended to anyone interested in the subject of violence. For a differing hypothesis on the topic of violence, readers should see Collins 2008.

  • Adler, Leonore Loeb, and Florence L. Denmark, eds. 2004. International perspectives on violence. Westport, CT: Praeger.

    Presents a fascinating and comprehensive understanding of violence around the world. Those interested in global violence should begin with this book.

  • Collins, Randall. 2008. Violence: A micro-sociological theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Presents a different viewpoint of violence than most authors by suggesting that violence is against the norm. He presents evidence toward his argument that violence is rarely completed easily or as planned. He looks to overturn prior misconceptions about violence.

  • Englander, Elizabeth Kandel. 2007. Understanding violence. 3d ed. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    A critical review of the latest research regarding the causes and effects of violence, particularly its effects on children.

  • Flannery, Daniel J., Alexander T. Vazsonyi, and Irwin D. Waldman, eds. 2007. The Cambridge handbook of violent behavior and aggression. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    This resource provides a thorough understanding of the origins of violent behavior and aggression, its developmental course, and its impact on individuals and societies. It is written by leading experts in the field.

  • Palermo, George B. 2004. The faces of violence. Springfield, IL: Thomas.

    This is a good introductory source regarding violence. It discusses the biology, psychology, and sociology of violence as well as manifestations and facilitators of it.

  • Rapp-Paglicci, Lisa A., Albert R. Roberts, and John S. Wodarski, eds. 2002. Handbook of violence. New York: Wiley.

    This book provides an overview of several types of violence written by leading authors in the field. Family, community, school, and workplace violence are included.

  • Waldrep, Christopher, and Michael Bellesiles, eds. 2006. Documenting American violence: A sourcebook. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

    An anthology that documents famous examples of American violence throughout time. The author argues that violence has shaped every era of U.S. history.

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