Society often defines violence as “physically destructive or damaging activity” (Taylor and Royal College of Physicians of London, 1993). Experts, however, point out that violence is not synonymous with aggression, hostility or anger. Aggression could either an attack or assault (not necessarily physical) or a positive trait that almost resembles assertiveness. Hostility, meanwhile, describes a mindset that constantly responds to people and or situations in an antagonistic manner. Anger is an explicitly emotional arousal state and not an act or enduring trait (Taylor and Royal College of Physicians of London, 1993).
The aforementioned definition of violence is sometimes considered as shadowy, as not all forms of physically destructive or damaging activity can be classified as violent. This problem is attributed to the manner in which the phenomenon of violence is studied. Academic and governmental interest in violence usually focuses on the rise and fall of the incidence of violence in a given society. In the haste to address issues such as the number of violent individuals and the percentage of violence in a specific community, philosophical speculations on the meaning of violence are overlooked (Torrance, 1988).
In addition, experts “define violence in terms of the particular injurious behavior with which it is concerned” (Torrance, 1988). A feminist, for instance, would define rape as an act which reinforces the patriarchal notion that men are superior to women. An analyst of social deviance, on the other hand, would theorize that violence is a product of the breakdown of social norms and mores (Torrance, 1988). As a result, an all-encompassing definition of violence fails to materialize. 2. Discuss the evolution of drug use in the 20th century. The early 20th century was characterized with the advent of drug control measures.
Prior to this period, physicians prescribed substances such as alcohol, morphine, heroin and cocaine without any knowledge regarding their addiction potential and abuse liability. The steady progress of medical science in the early 20th century, however, gave physicians a clearer understanding of the long-term effects of the drugs that they have been using on their patients. Consequently, laws such as the Pure Food Act of 1906 and the Harrison Act of 1914 were passed. These directives imposed standards for quality, packaging and labeling of food and drugs (Inciardi, 1990).
Despite these efforts, misuse of prescription drugs continued to become a problem. In the 1930s, marijuana, once sold as a cure for insanity, mental retardation and impotence, increasingly became a recreational drug. In 1950s, heroin addiction became widespread as wartime stockpiles of the drug (used by soldiers as a painkiller and stimulant) were made available to the public. The 1960s was known as the beginning of the “new chemical age” – illegal drugs became cheaper and more accessible as homemade drug “laboratories” emerged and became commonplace (Inciardi, 1990).
As a result, the demographics of drug users since the 1960s shifted from the lower classes to the middle and the upper classes. Furthermore, new forms of illegal drugs such as LSD, PCP and Ecstasy were created. The new social background of drug users – homemakers, professionals, university students and even celebrities – gave drug abuse a “respectable,” if not “glamorous” image. This popular belief continues to this day (Inciardi, 1990). 3. Explain how violence for drug dealers is a necessity. It is necessary for drug dealers to resort to violence in order to protect their trade, as well as their lives.
Drug dealers do not participate in the legitimate economy. They therefore have to get themselves in illegal activities in order to profit from their trade. A drug dealer with a reputation for violence is less likely to have competitors than one who does not use violence (Bennett and Holloway, 2005). Given the illegal nature of drug dealing, violence is also seen as the best way to protect it from law enforcement institutions. Those who fail to abide by normative codes are killed. Informers are likewise murdered. Failure to pay debts is given the same punishment.For drug dealers, committing violence pales in comparison to the risk of arrest and incarceration.
Bennett, T. , & Katy Holloway. (2005). Understanding Drugs, Alcohol and Crime. New York: McGraw-Hill International. Inciardi, J. A. (1990). Handbook of Drug Control in the United States. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group. Taylor, P. J. , & Royal College of Physicians of London. (1993). Violence in Society. London: Royal College of Physicians. Torrance, J. M. C. (1988). Public Violence in Canada, 1867-1982. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.