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The Enduring Problem

Fourth Edition

April 2020 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Violence: The Enduring Problem offers an interdisciplinary and reader-friendly exploration of the patterns and correlations of individual and collective violent acts using the most contemporary research, theories, and cases. Responding to the fear of pervasive violence in the world, authors Alex Alvarez and Ronet Bachman address the various legislative, social, and political efforts to curb violent behavior. The authors expertly incorporate a wide range of current cases to help readers interpret the nature and dynamics of a variety of different, yet connected, forms of violence. The Fourth Edition represents a significant step forward in presenting a more complete and contemporary analysis of violence. Included in this edition is a new chapter on hate crime, a new chapter devoted to multicide, and updated discussions on current topical issues, including the #MeToo movement and epigenetics.

Chapter 1. Defining Violence
Connecting Violence

Defining Violence

Measuring Violence

Violence and U.S. Society


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 2. Why Do We Do It?
Ethological and Biological Explanations of Violence

Psychological Explanations of Violence

Sociological Explanations of Violence

Explaining Collective Violence


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 3. Assault and Murder: A Continuum of Violence
Defining Assault and Homicide

Violent Interactions

What Are We Doing About Murder?


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 4. Serial, Mass, and Spree Killing
Serial Murder

Spree Murder

Mass Murder


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 5. Violence in the Home
Intimate Partner Violence

How Many Victims of Intimate Partner Violence Are There?

Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Violence

What Are We Doing About Intimate Partner Violence?

Violence in Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/ Transgender/Queer (LGBTQ) Relationships


What Are We Doing About Stalking?

Child Abuse

What Are We Doing About Physical Child Abuse?

Elder Abuse

What Are We Doing About Elder Abuse?


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 6. Rape and Sexual Assault
How Many Rape and Sexual Assault Victims Are There?

Rape on College Campuses

Rape In Prison

Rape and the U.S. Military

Genocide and Rape

Human Trafficking

Factors Related to Sexual Violence

What Are We Doing About Rape?


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 7. Stranger Crime and Street Violence

What Are We Doing About Street Robbery?

Bank Robbery

Workplace Violence

Street Gang Violence

What Are We Doing About Street Gang Violence?


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 8. Hate Crimes
Violent Hate Crimes

James Byrd Jr. and Matthew Shepard: Catalysts for Modern Hate Crime Legislation

What Is a Hate Crime?

How Frequently Are Hate Crimes Carried Out?

Race-Based Hate Crime

Religion-Based Hate Crime

Hate Groups

Immigration and Hate

How Can We Combat Hate Crime?


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 9. Crowd Violence
Mobs and Crowds

Mob Mentality


Race Riots



Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 10. Terrorism
Defining Terrorism

History of Terrorism

How Frequent Are Terrorist Acts?

Types of Terrorism

Who Becomes a Terrorist?

Tactics and Weapons

What Are We Doing About Terrorism?


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 11. Genocide
Defining Genocide

A History of Genocide

Why Do Genocides Happen?

Precursors to Genocide

Perpetrators of Genocide

Who Are the Victims of Genocide?

When People Do Nothing: The Bystanders to Genocide

What Are We Doing About Genocide?


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

Chapter 12. Toward Violence Prevention
Costs of Violence

How Do We Know What Works?

Criminal Justice Responses to Violence

Violence as a Public Health Problem


Key Terms

Discussion Questions

About the Authors


Instructor Resource Site

Password-protected instructor resources include the following.
  • An LMS-compatible test bank containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 
  • Video and web resources include relevant links that appeal to students with different learning styles.
Student Study Site

Open access student resources include the following.
  • Video and web resources that bring concepts to life and meet the learning needs of today’s media-savvy learners.
  • Mobile-friendly flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.

Violence: The Enduring Problem is a readable, sensible presentation of the current state of the field. It gives balanced coverage of both street violence and political violence. The most holistic text currently available.”

Christopher W. Mullins
Southern Illinois University

“This textbook is a powerful broad-spectrum resource on violence in the United States and around the world.”

Rochelle Rowley
Emporia State University

“A well-written text that explores the wide array of issues in violent crime.”

Kristine Levan
University of Idaho

“The textbook is easy to understand, comprehensive, and highlights the current state of violence research.”

Egbert Zavala
University of Texas at El Paso

“A good examination of violence from a generally non-interpersonal focus.”

Carolyn Slotten
Miami University

“I do enjoy this text and have used it multiple times…I would describe it as comprehensive enough to give a good overview of different types of violence but in-depth enough to do most of the justice.”

Monica Merrill
Youngstown State University

“Very good book that is highly accessible and very detailed.”

Gary Maynard
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

For instructors

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