Publication details [#2393]

Bebber, Charles C. 1995. Thematic images linking American military strikes of the 1980s and rising U.S. civil violence. Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso 10 (2) : 139–154. 16 pp.


U.S. violent crime rates during the 1980s were found to have increased significantly more after four major American military strikes than after six peaceful periods of the decade. Archer and Gartner (1984) argued that a legitimation of violence model best accounts for relations between war and rising civil violence. This article also supports a legitimation of violence model, but here the model's behavioral effects are attributed not to imitative social learning, as Archer and Gartner proposed, but to thematic images derived from specific perceptual cues of wars and retained as a form of transient metaphorical schemata. Much American violence of the 1980s, it is contended, was patterned after two such thematic images, one concerned with homicide and aggravated assault and the other with sexual aggression. (Charles Bebber)