AIS

2019/13

A conversation with American Maverick Sociologist and Criminologist, Lonnie Athens


During our interview with Lonnie Athens, we questioned him about both his theory of violentization and his ongoing efforts to develop what he calls a «radical interactionist» perspective, two intertwined strands of his research. Specifically, his early research on violence planted the seed for his later development of radical interactionism, which in turn, provided him with an interactionist perspective – an alternative to symbolic interactionism to draw on when broadening his original theory of violentization into a general theory of conflict and violence. The questions we asked included: (1) what role do you think the unconscious plays in everyday experiences during which we engage in soliloquies? (2) what role do our soliloquies play in bringing about dramatic self-change? (3) do you think that we must always start from the visible aspects of our social experiences to understand their invisible aspects? (4) which word do you think better captures your notion of a phantom community: «parliament» or «orchestra?» (5) what is your response to the criticism of your theory of violentization that there are many people who have committed heinous violent crimes, but who have not completed all the stages in the violentization process, or may not even have started the process? (6) what is the relationship between desire and violence, on the one hand, and desire and domination, on the other? (7) do you think that incorporating ideas from feminism could help further develop the theory of violentization? and (8) do you consider domination as the cosmic principle of the universe?

Parole chiave: Radical interactionism, Violence, Violentization process, Phantom community, Domination

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  • Articolo
  • pp:15-33
  • DOI: 10.1485/AIS_2019/13_3439221
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