A Genealogy of Social Violence: Founding Murder, Rawlsian Fairness, and the Future of the Family, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Genealogy of Social Violence

Founding Murder, Rawlsian Fairness, and the Future of the Family, 1st Edition

By Clint Jones


240 pages

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Examining the mimetic theory of René Girard, this book investigates the development of society as a result of an original crime (a murder) that shaped the way the earliest humans organized the social structures we live with today - an analysis that reveals the dangerous structure of the most basic social relationships. With attention to family relationships, A Genealogy of Social Violence sheds light on the processes by which the traditional nuclear family, through the mimetic behaviour of children, embeds violence into human desires and hence society as whole. Challenging the thought of Girard and of Rawls in order to offer a new understanding of justice, this book suggests that in order to achieve a more peaceful society, what is required is not the self-defeating narrative of equality, developed in order to manage the violence engendered by our social institutions, but a reconceptualisation of the nuclear family structure. A striking critique of modern society, which draws on religion, mythology, literature, history, philosophy and political theory, A Genealogy of Social Violence will be of interest to social and political theorists, as well as philosophers working in the area of contemporary social and European thought.


’In this ambitious and fascinating study Jones guides the reader through the theories of social violence in the work of Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud and Girard, producing a compelling critique of Rawls' contractual notion of justice. Weaving together the theoretical speculations of Girard and Marcuse with concrete social applications, Jones' work argues for nothing less than a fundamental transformation of family relations and a re-vitalisation of utopian thought.’ William Pawlett, University of Wolverhampton, UK

About the Author

Clint Jones is Instructor of Philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University, USA.

About the Series

Classical and Contemporary Social Theory

Classical and Contemporary Social Theory
Classical and Contemporary Social Theory publishes rigorous scholarly work that re-discovers the relevance of social theory for contemporary times, demonstrating the enduring importance of theory for modern social issues. The series covers social theory in a broad sense, inviting contributions on both 'classical' and modern theory, thus encompassing sociology, without being confined to a single discipline. As such, work from across the social sciences is welcome, provided that volumes address the social context of particular issues, subjects, or figures and offer new understandings of social reality and the contribution of a theorist or school to our understanding of it. The series considers significant new appraisals of established thinkers or schools, comparative works or contributions that discuss a particular social issue or phenomenon in relation to the work of specific theorists or theoretical approaches. Contributions are welcome that assess broad strands of thought within certain schools or across the work of a number of thinkers, but always with an eye toward contributing to contemporary understandings of social issues and contexts.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Political
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General