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Calling it 'Evil' - the easy way out?

Calling it 'Evil' - the easy way out?

Kaspersson, Maria (2014) Calling it 'Evil' - the easy way out? In: 42nd Annual Conference of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control, 3rd-6th September 2014, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Labelling something or someone as ‘evil’ is a common occurrence in media and in debates regarding certain crimes and criminals. By calling something ‘evil’ we are differentiating and distancing ourselves from it, creating an ‘us’ and ‘them’ and removing any responsibility for the act or person from us. By calling something or someone ‘evil’ we are getting rid of the need to reflect on our role in what has happened. This means that the concept of evil is attractive to use for the general public (and media and politicians) as it excludes us from the equation. By taking a deeper look at evil acts and evil people, however, they are not necessarily as alien and ‘other’ as we treat them – and we not as innocent or without blame as we would like to believe. In some cases, it is only by going beyond the label of evil that we can find causes and reasons for evil acts and evil people, and only by accepting that we as a society might have a role to play in causing them, or not stopping them from taking place, can we understand and maybe prevent them.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: Theme of the conference: "Resisting the demonisation of 'the Other': State, nationalism and social control in a time of crisis"
Uncontrolled Keywords: Labelling; stranger danger; public perception
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2016 14:38

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