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Vandalism as a Symbolic Act in Free Zones

Roos, Hans-Edvard LU (1992) In Vandalism: Research, Prevention and Social Policy p.71-87
Abstract
The concept of vandalism is analyzed as a symbolic act. An analysis of vandalism

from a situational-positivistic, or a motivational-psychological, approach hardly gives

an understanding of vandalism as a meaningful individual and social act. A humanistic

and cultural perspective can supply ways to understand a nonprescribed behavior

such as vandalism. The original meaning of vandalism is plundering and laying

waste of a civilization's symbols and environment. This appropriation of physical environment

also occurs in the industrialized societies' urban environment and then

often is perceived as motiveless. "Free zones" develop in societies where norms

and obligations... (More)
The concept of vandalism is analyzed as a symbolic act. An analysis of vandalism

from a situational-positivistic, or a motivational-psychological, approach hardly gives

an understanding of vandalism as a meaningful individual and social act. A humanistic

and cultural perspective can supply ways to understand a nonprescribed behavior

such as vandalism. The original meaning of vandalism is plundering and laying

waste of a civilization's symbols and environment. This appropriation of physical environment

also occurs in the industrialized societies' urban environment and then

often is perceived as motiveless. "Free zones" develop in societies where norms

and obligations are neutralized. Vandalism is nonprescribed in that it appears in

these free zones where norms, obligations, utility, and common sense are switched

off. The environment is "marked" by damaging or destroying objects to change the

message of the physical milieu. Vandalism is a gesture of "negative honor," which

reflects a complex of feelings. Vandalism comprises two sides of an autonomy problem:

to be isolated from an unwanted membership (juvenile vandalism) and to be

free of an unwanted outside position (adult vandalism). An essential question is

which methodological and theoretical concepts a researcher in the social sciences

should use to discover the rationality of vandalism and to make it comprehensible. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sociologi, sociology, symbolic, vandalism, free zone, negative honor, autonomy, humanistic perspective., history
in
Vandalism: Research, Prevention and Social Policy
editor
Harriet H., Christensen; Darryll J., Johnson and Martha H., Brookes
pages
71 - 87
publisher
Seattle: US Dept. of Agruculture / Pacific Northwest Research Station and University of Washington.
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6127aba8-81f5-45bd-9fb0-d47545bdb671 (old id 802027)
date added to LUP
2008-01-07 14:06:18
date last changed
2016-04-16 07:56:23
@inbook{6127aba8-81f5-45bd-9fb0-d47545bdb671,
  abstract     = {The concept of vandalism is analyzed as a symbolic act. An analysis of vandalism<br/><br>
from a situational-positivistic, or a motivational-psychological, approach hardly gives<br/><br>
an understanding of vandalism as a meaningful individual and social act. A humanistic<br/><br>
and cultural perspective can supply ways to understand a nonprescribed behavior<br/><br>
such as vandalism. The original meaning of vandalism is plundering and laying<br/><br>
waste of a civilization's symbols and environment. This appropriation of physical environment<br/><br>
also occurs in the industrialized societies' urban environment and then<br/><br>
often is perceived as motiveless. "Free zones" develop in societies where norms<br/><br>
and obligations are neutralized. Vandalism is nonprescribed in that it appears in<br/><br>
these free zones where norms, obligations, utility, and common sense are switched<br/><br>
off. The environment is "marked" by damaging or destroying objects to change the<br/><br>
message of the physical milieu. Vandalism is a gesture of "negative honor," which<br/><br>
reflects a complex of feelings. Vandalism comprises two sides of an autonomy problem:<br/><br>
to be isolated from an unwanted membership (juvenile vandalism) and to be<br/><br>
free of an unwanted outside position (adult vandalism). An essential question is<br/><br>
which methodological and theoretical concepts a researcher in the social sciences<br/><br>
should use to discover the rationality of vandalism and to make it comprehensible.},
  author       = {Roos, Hans-Edvard},
  editor       = {Harriet H., Christensen and Darryll J., Johnson and Martha H., Brookes},
  keyword      = {sociologi,sociology,symbolic,vandalism,free zone,negative honor,autonomy,humanistic perspective.,history},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {71--87},
  publisher    = {Seattle: US Dept. of Agruculture / Pacific Northwest Research Station and University of Washington.},
  series       = {Vandalism: Research, Prevention and Social Policy},
  title        = {Vandalism as a Symbolic Act in Free Zones},
  year         = {1992},
}