That's Not My City

Dynes, Russell R.
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Disaster Research Center
The meaning of collective violence is often apparent only in retrospect. Interpretations or" incidents can more often be understood as a justification for actions taken by various observers in their roles as participants. Written history is more likely to record an "official" position while, on the other hand, revolutionary literature will provide a quite different ex post facto view. Such conflicting views do not necessarily imply that any single interpretation is adequate. It is possible, however, aided by a socio-historical understanding of past events, to look at contemporary situations and to place them in a context which is leas dependent upon the justifications of participants. Recent events in the United States, particularly in the cities and on the campuses, have prompted social scientists to give more attention to understanding the dynamics involved in collective violence. A literature is beginning to emerge. In studying such events, there are many methodological and theoretical problems. Most standard social science methods are not easily adapted to the demands made on the observation and interpretation of events which have both a long historical causal nexus as well as a short dramatic violent culmination.
Curacao , looting , burning , collective violence , civil disturbance