Violence  book cover
1st Edition


ISBN 9780367197605
Published October 23, 2020 by Routledge
144 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Using discourses from across the conceptual and geographical board, Toby Miller argues for a different way of understanding violence, one that goes beyond supposedly universal human traits to focus instead on the specificities of history, place, and population as explanations for it.

Violence engages these issues in a wide-ranging interdisciplinary form, examining definitions and data, psychology and ideology, gender, nation-states, and the media by covering several foundational questions:

  • how has violence been defined, historically and geographically?
  • has it decreased or increased over time?
  • which regions of the world are the most violent?
  • does violence correlate with economies, political systems, and religions?
  • what is the relationship of gender and violence?
  • what role do the media play?

This book is a powerful introduction to the study of violence, ideal for students and researchers across the human sciences, most notably sociology, American and area studies, history, media and communication studies, politics, literature, and cultural studies.

Table of Contents


CHAPTER ONE—Meaning and Data





CONCLUSION (with Richard Maxwell)

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Toby Miller is Stuart Hall Professor of Cultural Studies, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana–Cuajimalpa; Research Professor of the Graduate Division, University of California, Riverside; and Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Collaborator, Murdoch University. He is Past-President of the Cultural Studies Association (US) and the author and editor of 50 books and hundreds of articles and chapters.


'With characteristic geographical breadth and linguistic élan, Toby Miller fuses a remarkable range of disciplines and examples to consider the meaning of violence in its many permutations—from rape and domestic violence through to school shootings and the "slow violence" of ecological destruction. Stacked with startling statistics, Violence is both a lively generator of debate and a visceral argument against the destructiveness of patriarchy, religion, capitalism and war.' Jo Littler, City, University of London, UK

'Miller's famously capacious mind is working at full throttle in this tour de force book. Violence delivers analyses and insights that will unsettle readers, and stick with them for a long time.' Andrew Ross, New York University, USA

'This immensely readable book takes the reader on a trip through some of the many battlegrounds in which various forms of violence are played out: in an array of grisly statistics, in our brains, in deep-rooted misogyny , in nationalist politics, in journalism and in fiction. The journey is often uncomfortable and always thought-provoking: Miller shows how violence can be sporadic but it is also systemic, and Miller weaves storytelling with social science—combining advocacy with analytical dexterity—to ask where it comes from and who benefits from it.' Justin Lewis, Cardiff University, UK