Download Metaphysics of Paradigms in Political Science: Theories of Urban

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Philosophy of history wikipedia , lookup

The Dispossessed wikipedia , lookup

Sociocultural evolution wikipedia , lookup

Environmental determinism wikipedia , lookup

Symbolic interactionism wikipedia , lookup

Marxism wikipedia , lookup

Criminology wikipedia , lookup

Origins of society wikipedia , lookup

Aestheticization of violence wikipedia , lookup

Frankfurt School wikipedia , lookup

Structural functionalism wikipedia , lookup

Public administration theory wikipedia , lookup

Social theory wikipedia , lookup

Anthropology of development wikipedia , lookup

Rebellion wikipedia , lookup

Unilineal evolution wikipedia , lookup

Sociological theory wikipedia , lookup

Public choice wikipedia , lookup

History of the social sciences wikipedia , lookup

State (polity) wikipedia , lookup

Political economy in anthropology wikipedia , lookup

Development economics wikipedia , lookup

Development theory wikipedia , lookup

Postdevelopment theory wikipedia , lookup

Metaphysics of Paradigms in
Political Science: Theories of
Urban Unrest
Michael Haas
Many of the debates among competing paradigms in political science are
concerned with peripheral elements rather than the basic assumptions of the
paradigms. Since the major assumptions of any paradigm are rooted in metaphysical theories of the nature of reality, tests of one paradigm are likely to deal
with phenomena that may not be considered in another. The article outlines
the main metaphysical theories —materialism, idealism, and dualism —then
proceeds to demonstrate that the primacy of matter versus ideas is central to
paradigms of explanation in one area of political science, namely, theories of
urban unrest. A survey of competing theories highlights the metaphysical assumptions and methodological preferences of each contending paradigm. The
article argues that more attention should be paid to the metaphysical assumptions of paradigms in order to sharpen the focus of the research agenda.
When Rudolf Carnap suggested that social scientists should
avoid metaphysical problems and seek to define key concepts in
terms of observable characteristics, he was writing at a time when
he saw behavioristic experimental psychology as preferable to endless efforts at theoretical speculation that would fail to advance human knowledge because the conceptual discourse contained metaphysical words "devoid of meaning."1 Although his advice may well
have served to steer social scientists into a more data-oriented approach toward their craft, the implications of his disdain for metaphysical analysis have yet to be critiqued in specific terms. Empirical social scientists followed his advice in regard to eschewing
metaphysical discussion, but they were unable to avoid making
metaphysical assumptions in their theories, as we shall see below.
There are many alternative reconstructions of the logic of science, and there is a healthy dissensus of how social science can
best advance.2 But one common trend is the desire among quantitatively oriented social scientists to build theories and to collect
data with a view to discarding various theories or finding some of
them consistent with data. Often a particular phenomenon is the
center of attention — urban unrest, for example. Data are assembled to determine whether the central phenomenon varies over
time and space. Other data are collected in an effort to account
for variations in the central phenomenon, and a set of indepen520
dent variables is said to predict to the key dependent variable.
However imperfectly, the data-level findings are somehow equivalenced hermeneutically to a theory-level language, and a theory is
proclaimed to have been tested. As this rough scenario is repeated
many times, the social sciences develop several alternative theories. Advocates of the theories vie for acceptance of their approach, thereby producing confusion about the state of knowledge
in a particular field of study. Political science is no exception to
this regard.
Conceptual and theoretical babel, thus, are a major problem in
the social sciences today. Thomas Kuhn, a philosopher of science
who views midcentury social science's plethora of disparate theories as something to be explained in macrohistorical terms,3 has
provided more subtle advice than the earlier suggestions of the
logical positivists. While some philosophers prefer to use logic to
dissolve the mind-body question,4 a most questionable undertaking indeed,5 Kuhn prefers to meet the issue directly. The Carnapian reconstruction of the logic of scientific inquiry, similarly, has
been upstaged by a more critical Kuhnian view of science as a social and political process in which the pursuit of truth is seen as
rather elusive. Although Kuhn has many critics,6 his main contribution has been to urge us to consider that the progress of science
consists in looking at "paradigms"7 and the social structure within
science that permits some theories to survive while others fall into
This essay is an effort to move one step beyond Kuhn, though
clearly in the Kuhnian tradition. The aim is to explicate the nature of paradigmatic debates in political science in terms of assumptions as yet unspecified by any of the key theorists. These
basic assumptions comprise the metaphysical substructure of the
theories. As stated by William Bluhm more than a decade ago, social science theory contains implicit metaphysical assumptions.8
Following Bluhm's suggestion, I have elsewhere demonstrated the
metaphysical underpinnings of theories of international integration.9 My purpose here is to unpack paradigms advanced by empirical scholars studying urban unrest into specific metaphysical
components so that the general thesis can become more clearly established within political science.
What are the advantages of reopening the question of
metaphysics that Carnap was so eager to avoid and Kuhn insists
have been at the root of paradigmatic controversies in the sciences
for a long, long time?10 First of all, a metaphysical analysis will
clarify the most basic structure of existing paradigms, illuminating
the precise meaning of the key concepts and propositions; theorists may thus learn to talk to each other about their approaches
rather than past each other. If we know the metaphysical basis of a
theory, we can also quickly separate fundamental from marginal
propositions of a particular paradigm, and we can appreciate authentic tests of a theory in contrast with studies that explore more
marginal propositions. In addition, we are able to determine gaps
in the testing of existing paradigms if we discover that their proponents are not really collecting data appropriate for a complete test
of basic assumptions and derivative propositions. We can more
readily construct critical tests of alternative paradigms in a single
study if we know the most basic elements to include. Discussions
about alternative theories often become vitriolic when proponents
retreat into ideological camps, failing to appreciate the metaphysical implications of their theories; a more sober level of discourse is
possible when researchers see the inner logic of theories. Ideologies may indeed be the source of metaphysical bias in theories,
but theory cannot be established scientifically until its metaphysical assumptions have been tested in a manner acceptable to the
canons of science. Yet another benefit of focusing on metaphysical assumptions is that an agenda for future research can more
easily be designed when the underlying assumptions are in the
forefront. These are some of the advantages of looking at metaphysical assumptions in theories of political science. No doubt
there are others as well.
Accordingly, the essay begins with a discussion of alternative
theories of metaphysics. It then discusses the famous "reports" on
the so-called causes of urban unrest in the United States of the
1960's, one of the major areas of concern to political scientists.
Next, the metaphysical assumptions of each major theory and
school of thought are explicated. In each case the causal theory associated with each approach is noted. The essay concludes with a
few suggestions on the agenda for future theory-building in political science.
Metaphysics is the study of what is basic and underlying in the
real world. Ontology is the branch of metaphysics concerned with
what is real or unreal.11 The key ontological question, classically
posed, is whether the mind controls the body, the body controls
the mind, or whether there is some complex formula that explains
why sometimes one controls the other or appears to do so. All theories in the natural and social sciences make metaphysical assumptions; were they to fail to do so, their formulations would be
empty in content, for they would not refer to reality at all. For the
natural sciences, the terrain of inquiry has focused mostly on material substances, so metaphysical problems have presented few
paradoxes. For the social sciences, attitudes and ideologies are important; material factors, such as communication flows and income levels, are often considered as causes of the ideas espoused
by individuals, but sometimes ideas are regarded as the causes of
material factors.
There are several alternative ontological views in metaphysics.12 If all of reality is basically matter (that is, material substances of one kind or another), then the body is dominant over
the mind and attitudes are reducible to material substances; this
position is known as metaphysical materialism. If ideas and perceptions are the irreducible components of reality, then mind dominates body and material substances have no independent role to
play in a causal system. This second position is known as metaphysical idealism. Idealists believe that the world exists some how
independently of our conceptions of the world, or so they claim.
But we may feel that it would appear common sense to combine
both positions into one. Metaphysical realism is the view that we
can reduce everything in the world to two basic elements — matter
and ideas —but that the two elements are separate and distinct
(Table 1).
As such philosophers like Mario Bunge and Richard Taylor
point out, the commonsensical plausibility of realism turns out to
be more baffling than either idealism or materialism.13 Interactionism is the realist view that mind and body interact on each other,
but this view begs the question as to how, in what manner and under which sets of circumstances the interaction moves from body
to mind or mind to body. Parallelism is a realist theory in which
body and mind do not have any impact upon each other yet run
on parallel tracks throughout time and thus the naive observer
may falsely infer that one track is causally linked to the other.
Name of Theory
1. Monistic Theories
a. Materialism
i. epiphenomenalist
ii. physicalism
b. Idealism
i. epiphenomenalist
ii. mentalism
c. Double aspect theory
2. Dualistic Theories
a. Interactionism
b. Parallelism
3. Other Theories
a. Scepticism
b. Positivism
Role of Ideas
Role of Matter
same as matter
same as ideas
primary and impact
upon matter
primary and
impact upon
primary but no
impact upon
primary but no
impact upon matter
role unknown
role unimportant
role unknown
Lest the reader feel compelled to retreat to the simplicity of materialism and idealism, there are alternative conceptions of both
positions within philosophy as well. For idealists the basic phenomena are ideas and perceptions of reality; for materialists, matter is the irreducible phenomenon. Idealists reduce matter to ideas
(perceptions of matter). Materialists seek to reduce ideas to such
material forms as movements of electrical impulses in the brain.
In both theories there are two further possibilities—either the nonbasic element has no existential property and thus is some sort of
illusion (nonphenomenon) or the nonbasic element is an epiphenomenon that appears superficially to have a separate existence but in
fact is correlated perfectly with the basic phenomenon. Epiphenomenalist materialism is the view that the body acts on the mind to produce perceptual consciousness, but not vice versa. In social science terms, an individual's income and material circumstances
produce an awareness of class membership, according to epiphenomenalist materialism. Physicalism is the view that the mind is
physical in the first place, thus it is illogical to say that "body acts
on mind," since only body can act on body. But physicalism would
deny an independent role to logic and thus to science. For idealists
there is a similar epiphenomenalist idealism wherein the mind tells the
body what is going on, and a corresponding mentalism that points
out the logical contradictions in such a statement if the universe
consists solely of ideas and perceptions. Often, mentalism is attacked on the ground that it is a kind of solipsism in which everyone has a private conception of reality, a sort of schizophrenia in
which there can be no final arbiter on what is or is not real. For
the epiphenomenal idealist, exposure to the attitudes and opinions
of one's culture provides the verbal labels for describing physical
reality and the norms that govern an individual's behavior.
Realism is a dualistic theory, that is, everything in the world is
reduced to two basic components. The monistic theories discussed
above, materialism and idealism, reduce all of reality to one basic
form. According to double aspect theory, we may combine dualism
and monism in the view that there is basically one substance in
the world but that mind and body are two metaphysically equivalent though analytically distinct aspects of the same thing.
The reader who has come this far may have a sense of bewilderment at metaphysics. How can we ever decide questions about
the relationship between mind and body, attitudes and behavior,
or similar rephrasings of the basic metaphysical dichotomies about
the basic substance(s) of the real world? What evidence can help
us to resolve the dilemma?
David Hume's metaphysical scepticism is the position that insufficient evidence exists to decide the question; the structure of
metaphysical arguments is such that we either must observe metaphysical glue binding mind and body or else our speculation is
"sophistry and illusion," as he insisted in a kind of brute empiricism that would deny the existence of anything not established by
"experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence."14 But the natural sciences have had to take unobserved phenomena into account during the twentieth century; intricate theories and explicit assumptions have been developed in order to go
beyond Humeanism. Positivists go one step beyond Hume by denying that metaphysical speculation is worth the effort; since there
is no ultimate way for scientists to resolve the issue, the quest for
the correct metaphysical theory should be abandoned, or so they
argue while often urging a materialist metaphysics in practice, as
indicated by the first sentence of this article.15
A moment's reflection demonstrates that political scientists
make metaphysical assumptions all the time in their research. If
we do a survey of attitudes, we are assigning primacy to ideas and
verbalized reports of nonattitudinal phenomena. If we analyze
data on percapita income, kilowatt-hour electricity production,
unemployment rates, and rates of economic growth for countries
around the world, we are operating within a paradigm that gives
importance to material phenomena. Studies that combine both attitudes and physical attributes are cast in a realist paradigm, as
when questions in a survey deal with attitudes as well as income,
and when aggregate cross-national studies use national income
along with multicountry survey data. Poorly designed attitude
studies and aggregate data analyses can be lopsided metaphysically; they are quite often monistic in design. Studies conceived in
dualistic terms are able to answer more sophisticated metaphysical
questions than those using a monistic design.
In short, political scientists have evidence relevant to metaphysical debates. It is therefore appropriate to take stock of our findings in the light of metaphysical alternatives. Such is the aim of
the discussion below. We proceed by exploring one of the ongoing
debates in the field of political science, theories of urban unrest,
followed by an overall assessment. Our metaphysical distinction
between idealism, materialism, and realism will be understood to
cover the relative impact of ideational and material factors as explanations for variance in urban unrest. We will defer consideration of the more general relationship between matter and ideas to
the concluding section of the essay. As some of the theorists may
be surprised that they have been classified in a particular manner,
I should note here that the pigeonholes are for the theories alone;
a particular individual may espouse two different metaphysical
views in two distinct paradigms. The basis for classification is twofold. The text of the verbal theories provides one clue to the metaphysical assumptions of a theory — through definitions of key concepts. Since I am attempting to illustrate metaphysical dissensus
with reference to empirically tested theories, a second clue consists
of the nature of variables used in tests of a paradigm. Seldom do
we find any discrepancy between the two sources of classification,
but more clarity is often obtained by examining the variables than
the verbal statements of a theory, as we might expect in a social
science so heavily influenced by Carnapian logical positivism. If a
theorist defines concepts entirely as mental phenomena (such as
consciousness, ideas, opinions, perceptions, role orientations), we
will be able to give an idealist label to the theory. If the concepts
are all stated as material factors (such as levels of income, percapita electricity production, trade flows), our classification will
specify the label materialism. We will then look at whether the
theorist connects mental with physical factors —and how.
The Metaphysical Alternatives:
Politics is generally assumed to be an arena in which conflicts
are resolved peacefully. When violence erupts, as Karl von Clausewitz suggests, politics is continued, though by different means.16
Theories of Urban Unrest
Name of Theory
Metaphysical Assumption
Social Disorganization
Le Bon
McCone Report
Moynihan Report
Kerner Report*
Kerner recommendations*
Mass Society
Relative Deprivation Theory
Political Mobilization Theory
Racism Theory
Violence Theory
epiphenomenalist materialism
epiphenomenalist materialism
*The report has elements of two paradigms, having been put together by a heterogeneous committee.
At several periods of American history riots have been linked to
ethnic factors. One such period occurred during the middle and
late 1960's, and it affected nearly every urban community in the
United States. Various theories arose as to the origins of the violence, and metaphysical assumptions guided research on the subject (Table 2), although some theories ignored the axiom of von
Clausewitz, as we shall see below.
Most definitions of "urban unrest" focus on materialist phenomena, notably acts of violence. To establish a theory as idealist or
materialist, we need to look at the postulated causes of unrest.
From a materialist perspective, the causes of physical violence are
rooted in the objective conditions of poverty and inequality of
those who riot. But some theorists, we find, believe that "urban
unrest" has its origins in mental phenomena — attitudes of alienation, protest, frustration, and on role orientations. Metaphysical
realists say that material conditions and attitudinal orientations
are both important in explaining the outbreak of urban violence;
the exact connection between various causes and effects involves
several permutations of ideal and material factors. To review various theories, it will be useful, first of all, to examine the various
"reports" that attracted so much public attention.
Reports on Urban Unrest in the 1960's:
As we may recall, the Harlem riot of 1964 was not thought to
be a part of a larger pattern until midsummer 1965, when the
Watts section of Los Angeles was aflame for six successive days. In
the fall of 1965 the first of several reports on urban unrest
emerged. Entitled The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, the
report was issued by the U.S. Department of Labor from a committee chaired by Daniel Moynihan; the document was known
popularly as the Moynihan Report. According to Moynihan, the
causes of problems for blacks are rooted in a fragile family structure in which fathers are increasingly absent (although his data
actually shows that seventy-four percent of black families have fathers).17 Black society was suffering "deterioration," said Moynihan, so unless the "damage is repaired, efforts to end discrimination and poverty and injustice will come to little."18 Moynihan,
who wanted a jobs program for blacks, argued that
even full employment would not provide the same economic stability that was clearly the basis of family stability for this group. There
are other groups with different traditions . . . who can take a lot of
punishment without much impact on the family structure. But urban Negroes cannot.19
Thus, Moynihan argues that there is a black culture different
from the culture of other groups, and even economic inputs into
black society would not change the fundamental attitudes of black
persons. Moynihan's metaphysics assigns primacy to "cultural" attitudes, relegating material factors to the role of epiphenomena
that would improve only if attitudes could change. This is epiphenomenalist idealism.
The second report, commissioned by California Governor Edmund Brown, Sr., to explain the Watts riot of 1965, was chaired
by John McCone. The McCone Commission concluded that the
riot was kept alive by "several gangs, with membership of young
men ranging in ages from fourteen to thirty-five years."20 The rioters were typified, in short, as riffraff with inappropriate
thoughts; material factors of the rioters were considered to be secondary considerations. Thus, the McCone theory, clearly derived
from Gustave Le Bon's The Crowd,21 is one of epiphenomenalist
idealism as well.
The third report was issued in 1968 by the National Advisory
Commission on Civil Disorders; the chair was Illinois Governor
Otto Kerner. The Kerner Report presented evidence to refute the
findings of the McCone Commission: some of the better educated
if underemployed blacks were predominant among the rioters.22
The Kerner Report concluded that white institutions had created
and now maintain the ghettoes which were sites for the rioting of
the 1960's, though the key recommendation was not to dismantle
the white power structure thus identified but rather to pump more
money into the slums. The Kerner Commission recommended
that the War on Poverty program should receive increased funding. The metaphysics of the Kerner Report show the black rioter
as a victim both of poverty (a material condition) and of prejudice
(an attitudinal factor). The linkage between poverty and prejudice
is that institutionalized attitudes (barriers to equal opportunity)
produce poverty, and poor persons riot when they become conscious of their deprivation. As we shall see below, this was an
amalgamation of two theories with metaphysically distinct assumptions, producing an appearance of realism.
A number of observers have found fault with the above reports.
In all three reports attention is focused on blacks, who are said to
misbehave in various ways. As William Ryan notes in Blaming the
Victim, blacks are regarded as prone to violence in the three reports because blacks are seen as "savage," somehow different from
other races and thus are somehow excused for otherwise unacceptably violent outbursts.23
As violence spread to include college campuses and to involve
the assassination of such political leaders as Martin Luther King,
Jr., and Robert Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson established
yet another commission in June 1968. The National Commission
on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, chaired by Milton
Eisenhower, established a series of task forces, which in turn published compilations of various sorts that took a wide spectrum of
opinion and knowledge into account. Two of the volumes were especially useful from a social science perspective— The Ulitics of Protest by Jerome Skolnick and Violence in America, the latter a collection of essays edited by task force directors Hugh Graham and
Ted Gurr.2* As the titles of the two volumes indicate, there was a
fundamental disagreement on the basic phenomenon under investigation. For previous reports, as well as Graham and Gurr, the
focus of attention was on violence and its causes. To speak of violence was to identify something "savage" (in Ryan's terms) that
needed to be explained in nonpolitical terms. Attention to protest,
however, meant to identify grievances and repression by those in
authority and thus to focus on the ideas in a dialogue that had
been partly successful through sit-ins, freedom marches, and
other peaceful demonstrations and was taking on a new form.
Similar to Ryan, Skolnick felt that the causes of urban violence
were attitudinal in part and that the tactics of violence were signals to those in power "that concessions must be made or violence
will prevail."25 In short, Skolnick took seriously the rhetoric of
such figures as Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Malcolm X and others,26 along with the Clausewitzian principle.
The other reports conspicuously failed to analyze the nature of the
political demands from the black community.
The Theories:
Our review of the literature, thus, will focus on a paradigmatic
dialectic. We may join Ryan by viewing the social science literature on urban unrest in the context of a debate between advocates
of blaming-the-victim paradigms and proponents of the paradigms that fault the system of repression itself.
According to theories that blame the victim, the misfortunate
are responsible for their own fate. The earliest blaming-the-victim
theory is known as social disorganization theory. As formulated by
Gustave Le Bon and developed by Robert Park,27 social disorganization theory argues that "deviant behavior" (presumably including
urban unrest and violence) may be explained as imperfect socialization to the norms of society. The peculiarities and confusions of
the immigrant or ghetto resident — notably, the apparent lack of
social norms, often known as "cultural deprivation" —are due to
incomplete assimilation. The misconduct of the slumdweller is
due to "social marginality" or "social isolation." In other words, individuals isolated from the "mainstream" act in a strange manner.
Extrapolating to the phenomenon of urban unrest, social disorganization theory says that observable psychomotor behavior,
called "deviant behavior," is linked to basic attitudes that are
formed on the basis of the socioattitudinal proximity between the
individual and the dominant values of society. Park's theory encouraged studies on the demographic correlations of "deviant behavior," which tended to show that social isolation went hand-inhand with social "misbehavior" and cultural "deprivation" of
slumdwellers.28 In short, a socioattitudinal property (social isolation) entails another attitude (incoherent social norms or cultural
deprivation), which results in various forms of behavior (known as
"deviant"); violence, then, is a form of "deviant behavior" (Figure
One could hardly imagine a more classic presentation of epiphenomenalist idealism. The independent variables are attitudes,
and the dependent variable consists of physical behavior: behavior
is explained by prior attitudes. Clearly the McCone and Moynihan reports presuppose social disorganization theory. The fact
that only twenty-four percent of black families are described in
some detail in Moynihan's report, while seventy-six percent have
not "deteriorated" in his terms, is simply an inconvenient fact that
receives little attention.
But we know better. Thanks to the pioneering participant observation fieldwork of William Foote White, the ghetto life depicted in Street Corner Society was not "disorganized."29 The myth of
failure to have a coherent set of social norms was exploded by
White's account of life in a ghetto. As White reported, a complex
system of social norms did exist in the Italian slums of Boston.
(d) Marxist Exploitation Theory
(c) Relative Deprivation Theory
(b) Mass Society Theory
politicization of gap
of value gap
Causal Models of Theories of Urban Unrest.*
(a) Social Disorganization Theory
belief in
Am. creed
of support
for group
'Material factors are capitalized; ideal factors are in lower case letters.
(g) Structural Violence Theory
[V) Institutional Racism Theory
group seeks
to increase
(e) Political Mobilization Theory
nonelite verbal protest
elite mental
by other
But the content of the norms happened to differ from those of the
dominant value system of the larger Anglo society.
Theories of social disorganization are now considered passe.
They were often replaced by theories of mass society, as developed
originally by Emile Durkheim, and more recently explicated by
such scholars as Arthur Kornhauser and Neil Smelser.30 For
Kornhauser, explanations of collective social behavior —violent or
nonviolent —must take both attitudinal and physical phenomena
into account:
Mass society is objectively the atomized society, and subjectively the
alienated population. Therefore, mass society is a system in which
there is high availability of a population for mobilization by elites.31
Mass society thus entails a twofold gap between elites and masses.
In totalitarian states dominant institutions and values are seen as
carefully controlled by the elite subculture. Other subcultures,
with their own institutions and value systems are viewed as threats
to elite dominance. Elites reward those who follow the elite way
and punish those adhering to other value systems until the latter
are "atomized" (lack intermediate institutions) and "alienated"
(lack a sense of community identity). In nontotalitarian society
the same factors can occur as well; rapid social change tears the
fabric of a once close-knit society, as family members move away
from hometowns to seek employment, abandoning traditional
church affiliations and friendships in the process. If newcomers do
not reestablish group ties, even when they are free to do so in pluralistic societies, they are available for mobilization by Hitlers to
commit acts of violence. Kornhauser appears to imply that mass
behavior can be either the responsibility of elites who hold too
much power or masses who fail to take advantage of their freedom
in pluralistic societies to form intermediate institutions for asserting political demands in legitimate institutional channels.
For Smelser, "hostile outbursts" occur because of the presence of
"strain," such as "conflicts of interest . . . and differences in values."32 Strain is viewed as a structural property of a system and is
roughly equivalent to what Kornhauser identifies as "rapid social
change." Agencies of political control, according to Smelser, can
preclude violence —but not hostility —when they are as powerful
as they are in totalitarian societies, and government closes down
channels for expressing grievances. In more permissive societies
hostility and violent outbursts result when political institutions do
not allow parties in dispute to communicate. Smelser also stresses
the role of leaders who foment hostile outbursts, and his formulation notes that violence results when those who act on the basis of
a "generalized belief (an ideology encoding their alienation) oversimplify the complexities of politics and seek direct action. Hence,
we have yet another blaming-the-victim theory.
Thus, in mass society theory a material condition (social
change) affects individuals in two ways —an attitudinal condition
(alienation) and a physical condition (atomization) result from the
uncoupling of traditional institutions. Either atomization or alienation can serve as an antecedent of an attitude (hostility) or a
form of behavior (violent outbursts), with political and social institutions playing an intervening role in the process (Figure lb). The
metaphysical view is parallelism, as the connection between alienation and atomization is unspecified, and either condition can
result in unrest or violence.
The Kerner Report subscribes to mass society theory, despite a
chapter anachronistically entitled "Unemployment, Family Structure, and Social Disorganization." But the recommendations of
the Kerner Report did not deal with the institutions responsible
for alienation and atomization. The fact that so many rioters were
alienated but not atomized, as they were members of civil rights
organizations and held regular jobs, is one of those uncomfortable
facts that is swept under the verbal rug provided by mass society
theorists, who in turn provide formulations that often lack specificity for systematic tests. The Kerner Report, which recommended that more funds be channeled into the ghettos, was relying on yet another theory — economic deprivation theory.
Ted Gurr, one of the coauthors of a compilation of studies that
emerged from the Eisenhower Commission, indeed champions a
form of economic deprivation theory.33 A simple version of this
theory would tell us that the impetus to riot is a function of the
degree of economic deprivation. But this might not immediately
explain why rioting took place in the 1960's rather than in the
1970's, when economic conditions in urban ghettos had grown
worse. Accordingly, Gurr advanced a theory of relative deprivation instead, based on observations by Crane Brinton and James Davies
that violence results when areas of increasing prosperity are followed by a period of economic decline, a theory found in the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville.34 Brinton claimed evidence for an
era of economic downturn after an era of rising expectations in
the case of the English, American, French, and Russian revolutions. An increasing gap between levels of aspiration and levels of
satisfaction is central to the theory of Davies, which Gurr sought
to test, though most studies have found little support for Davies's
theory.35 Clearly, the Kerner Report accepted relative deprivation
theory in light of recommendations to increase funding to War on
Poverty programs.
Gurr's theory may be unpacked as follows (Figure lc). The dependent variable is a physical property, "magnitude of violence."
The casual sequence is "a perception of relative deprivation, the
development of discontent, [then] politicization of that discontent,
and finally . . . violent action."36 The intensity of violent action, in
turn, is a function of how much attitudinal support and physical
force that elites and counterelites bring to bear in their politicization of the conflict. "Relative deprivation" is defined as a perception that there is a "discrepancy between [material] value expectations and . . . value capabilities."37
As Gurr notes, his theory has "both psychological and societal"
elements.38 Clearly, his theory is interactionist. When material
conditions change (values increase or decrease), and attitudes (expectations of material conditions) do not go in the same direction,
a personal attitude (perception of relative deprivation) leads the
individual to a political attitude (discontent), and then a material
condition (violent action) occurs. As individuals expect more but
do not receive more, they experience deprivation in a relative
sense; as they receive less but do not reduce their material expectations, they also feel relative deprivation. One of Gurr's examples
of expectations in the role of antecedents is the period of the
1960's: he notes that black power movements imparted increased
value expectations but material conditions for blacks lagged behind these heightened expectations.39 He predicts that if "blacks
do develop a substantial measure of institutional support and resources in the ghettos . . . the likely long-range effect is a reduction of deprivation."40 Resources were subsequently allocated to
the ghettos, but deprivation was not substantially reduced; violence decreased, though Ryan points out that the gap between expectations (increased black enrollment in higher education) and
attainments (employment in professional-managerial jobs) actually widened in the 1970's.41 In a more recent study Gurr refines
his model, but the use of such concepts as "stress" and "strain"
places the new formulation more into the mass society camp and
attitude variables are left out.42
We cannot, of course, ignore the Marxist theory of economic exploitation. Marx wrote Capital in part to refute Rodbertus's claim
(similar to that of de Tocqueville) in Die Handelskrisen und die Hypothekennoth der Grundbesitzer (1858) that worker unrest increases in
periods of economic decline. One of Marx's interpreters argues instead that "crises are always preceded by a period in which wages
rise generally and the working classes actually get a larger share of
the annual product expected for consumption."43 For Marx, as
capitalism develops to the fullest, its internal contradictions increase; efforts to continue extracting a surplus value continually
run into the fact that workers paid proletarian wages cannot consume all that is produced. Workers are more likely to become conscious of exploitation in good times, when it becomes clear that
the lion's share of the benefits of prosperity belong to the capitalist, whereas in hard times the capitalists and proletariat suffer
alike, an explanation consistent with the contrast between the turbulent 1960's and quiescent 1970's.
For Marx, worker unrest was defined materialistically as revolutionary activity, including strikes. Material conditions (nearpoverty status for workers alongside prosperity for capitalists) provoke worker unrest, mediated by an attitudinal element (class
consciousness). His metaphysics was epiphenomenalist materialism (Figure Id). He did acknowledge that ideas play a role, but
the inexorable stages of history did not allow ideas to have an independent role. Vladimir Lenin, noting that higher wages
"bribed" the upper proletariat and thus reduced their revolutionary consciousness, had no alternative but to revise Marx to assign
a more central role to the revolutionary vanguard, 44 but once
again he insisted that Marxist theory was materialist and ideas
were of epiphenomenal significance. Revolutionary leaders, better
attuned to material realities than the ordinary worker, merely
awaken the latter to the existence of objective economic conditions. For a contemporary Marxist, Herbert Aptheker, the riots of
the 1960's were evidence that the exploited masses were participating in revolutionary acts that were more political and economic
than racial in nature.45 But attitudinal data show that reformist
ideology prevailed among the rioters, who were more middle class
in occupation and in group memberships.46
If economic deprivation is at the root of urban unrest, we can
see that theories of social disorganization and mass society are
rather naive. But if reformist attitudes are the dominant driving
forces of urban unrest, regardless of objective or subjective deprivation, we must look at other theorists.
According to political mobilization theory, ghetto dwellers engage
in violence not because they are isolated from American culture
but because they lack political power: they understand all too well
how the American system operates, and they know that through
the acquisition of political power they can hope to alleviate economic disparities within nonghetto America. This was the central
thesis of the Skolnick volume; other scholars have argued the same
point under such labels as the "new ghetto man" and "pro-riot ideology."47 If urban unrest is a reaction to socioeconomic injustice
and a resistance to the brainwashing that elite elements try to impose upon blacks and others to delude them into believing that
they are being treated fairly by all institutions of American society, then we must attend to interests and political strategies by
which groups pursue their interests.
Patterned after the utilitarian theory of John Stuart Mill, the
mobilization theory developed by Charles Tilly and others*8 assumes that groups pursue their own interests with whatever resources they possess; groups with the most resources are dominant, so each group seeks first to mobilize its fullest potentialities,
then to seize power. Violence is a tool in this struggle, used both
by elites and counterelites, just as von Clausewitz had said all
along. Tilly argues that the determinants of collective action are
"violations of established rights, the mobilization levels of different
contenders for power, [and] the current costs of different forms of
action," while the determinants of violent outcomes to collective
action are "the presence or absence of counterdemonstrators, the
tactics of repressive forces, [and] the length of time during which
opposing parties are in direct contact."49 At the end of each list,
Tilly places "and so on," to indicate some ambiguity. Unrest occurs if groups seek more resources; violence results if one resists
another in pursuing mutually incompatible objectives.
The metaphysics of mobilization theory may be characterized
as mentalism (Figure le), since attitudes (desires for more resources, mobilization of support from group members and other
groups, as well as the opposition from other groups) are the sole
determinants of behavior. Downtrodden groups seek more resources to overcome mistreatment because they want a larger
share of the pie; rich groups want to maintain their larger slice.
The poor use protest violence to make their point, and the elites
counter with repressive violence. For a group to gain more resources, it must organize and mobilize, seeking coalitions with
other groups; elites use the apparatus of the state to organize and
mobilize on their own behalf. As William Gamson says, instead of
the "duality of [social mobilization theory's] extremist politics and
[mass society theory's] pluralist politics, there is simply politics."50
But the theory is so general that it makes few predictions; in attempting to explain everything, it does not answer why some
groups get the urge for more resources or why one group chooses
to resist another.
Mobilization theory is related to the theory of institutional racism,
which was articulated so eloquently by Stokely Carmichael, William Ryan, and others that the Kerner Report paid lip service to
its thesis in its assertion that white racism has been responsible for
the conditions of blacks in the United States. The perspective of
institutional racism is that many policies, practices, and procedures of current institutions were designed a long time ago to discriminate against ghetto dwellers and in favor of middle class
whites. Even though current decision-makers may claim that they
harbor no racial prejudice, they nevertheless operate institutions
that have built-in discriminatory methods of operations and thus
are practicing racism just the same. Requiring a high school diploma to qualify for unskilled jobs in North Carolina, for example, works to the detriment of blacks because they graduate from
high school at a lower rate than whites in that state.51 Institutional
racism is also evident when white police unjustly harass Watts residents in a manner that would make white communities in Los
Angeles indignant. Indeed, Ryan was able to show that nearly all
of the riots mentioned in the Kerner Report were triggered by just
this type of police brutality.52
Ryan's theory of institutional racism conceives of unrest as a
psychomotor act of rioting or looting. Unrest occurs when an economically deprived group believes that its plight is the result of injustice—that is, violations of the American creed. As Gunnar
Myrdal argued in 1943, the concept of the American creed was
well known to blacks and whites alike, and it was also true that
blacks were fully aware that whites did not practice the creed.53
Blacks have chosen to articulate their perspective through a dialogue of protest in the rhetoric of the American creed, only to be
met all too often with further repression. Ryan reports that "almost every disturbance [in the rioting of the 1960's] is initiated by
police action that the [ghetto] community finds offensive and intolerable. . . . The predominant focus of violence by residents is
against property . . . [in] a primitive form of redistribution of
The picture that emerges is that poorer whites, some of which
are employed as police officers, particularly seek to prevent poorer
blacks from rising in society. As white businesses want to run efficiently but do not want to run counter to social trends, they employ less efficient whites but derive lower profits than if they hired
more efficient blacks through programs of affirmative action. Protests, then, can be used to remove the resistance to affirmative
action, wherein the stress is supposed to be on qualifications
rather than connections or race-biased personnel policies, procedures, and practices in job selection. White police may be particularly resentful of affirmative action; as representatives of their
strata in society, police act out what their comrades would presumably do in their place. The findings of the Kerner Report are
consistent with the theory of institutional racism; as already noted
above, "rioters" first suffered employment discrimination, and
their efforts at verbal protest preceded their arrests in the more violent confrontations.
The metaphysical interactionism of the theory of institutional
racism sees material factors (economic deprivation) at the root
of the problem (figure If). Those who are economically deprived
accept an attitude (belief in the American creed) yet suffer materially (through discrimination), so they carry out a verbal campaign
(protest) to motivate white society to live up to the American
creed by eliminating the unequal treatment of blacks. Sometimes
protest works, sometimes not. When the response to protest is
material repression by elites (further unequal treatment, police
brutality, and the like), the black community becomes so indignant that it retaliates against white society through material acts
(burnings, looting, rioting). Of course, Myrdal's assumption that
Americans have a consensus for a procedural American creed in
which rights are accorded minorities has been questioned by such
researchers as Samuel Stouffer in Communism, Conformity, and Civil
If the theory of institutional racism seems less general than
many of those considered above, a remedy is available. Our final
theorist, Johan Galtung, conceptualizes institutional repression
more generically as structural violence. His formulation begins with
the statement that "violence is present when human beings are being influenced so that their actual somatic and mental realizations
are below their potential realizations."56 He then distinguishes dualistically between physical and psychological violence, between
direct (personal) and indirect (structural) violence. Physical violence is direct. Structural violence exists because those in authority "try to preserve the status quo so well geared to protect their
interests"57 by restricting human potentialities and by permitting
social injustice to persist. Direct violence kills quickly, but indirect
structural violence — such as when an affluent society has plenty of
food yet some in the society are undernourished because they cannot purchase or get access to food —kills, too, but more slowly.
Galtung's theory emerges as the one best supported empirical thesis in Douglas Hibbs's cross-national study, Mass Political Violence.58
Structural violence embodies four characteristics —exploitation,
fragmentation, marginalization, and penetration. Elites maintain
dominance by exploiting labor (asymmetrically distributing the
benefits of labor), by penetrating nonelites (preventing the latter
from having autonomy), by fragmenting interaction (atomizing
underdogs), and by marginalizing (creating second-class citizens).
Should nonelites seek to object to liberate themselves through vi-i
olence or nonviolence, the response from elites will be further
structural violence. Metaphysically, a material factor (uneven distribution of resources) is the main antecedent condition. To maintain the asymmetry of elite dominance, elites must pursue a policy
(social injustice), inflicting mental as well as physical violence on
nonelites. Nonelites then respond to social injustice through verbal
as well as physical protest, whereupon elites apply physical
countermeasures (physical or psychological violence), and the
result is more structural violence (either physical or psychological). The result is epiphenomenalist materialism, as ideas play a
secondary role in a struggle for power (figure lg).
By implication we may argue that Galtung sees black protest as
a response both to excessive physical abuse of minority citizens by
police and to unjust laws, policies, practices, and procedures of institutions. Galtung's notion of structural violence, hence, subsumes the concept of institutional racism into what we might call
a generic theory of institutional discrimination, though of course
he prefers the label "structural violence theory." If his theory is cor-
rect, however, we would expect a lot more nonelite violence in totalitarian countries.
As urban rioting died down after the 1960's, concern for theories of urban unrest has subsided. The theories of institutional
racism and structural violence claim to be the most inclusive perspectives today, thanks to their focus both on violence and protest
conceptions of urban unrest. But the return to blaming-the-victim
in the era of President Ronald Reagan reflects a disenchantment
with the pursuit of equality. Insofar as the practical consequences
of affirmative action appears to be that one or several successive
generations of whites must permit large percentages of minorities
to have jobs and positions at colleges that they would rather have
for themselves (whether qualified or not), many whites resist reforms in institutional procedures that might reduce structural violence.59
We have reviewed several paradigms that focus on urban unrest. Differences over definition and key concepts are glaring, as
we move from one paradigm to another. Most theorists are well
aware that various approaches exist, but they persist in clinging to
one among several alternatives. How do we rise above this myopia?
In the first section of this essay six objectives of a metaphysical
analysis of paradigms are set forth. The first objective, clarifying
the implicit assumptions of the various paradigms of political science, has been accomplished above, though the diagrams in Figure 1 are simplified for this presentation to provide a starting
point. Discussion at a metaphysical level can be a discourse in
which theorists will speak to each other, however much they may
prefer to hide behind obscure formulations. Debates may now be
directed at how to refute or to support the basic premises of one
or another paradigm. As we show that all theories make metaphysical assumptions, the need to test the most fundamental assumptions should be placed as a top priority for future theory
Secondly, we urge researchers to include both attitudinal-perceptual and behavioral-material variables so that they can determine the relative impact of the two sets of factors (and theoretical
explanations) before moving to subsidiary questions within each
paradigm. An interactionist theory appears best suited at separating fundamental from marginal propositions in initial theory
building and theory testing, as it does not seek to explain away the
role of either attitudinal or material elements, as in the case of
Marxist and political mobilization theories in particular.
Thirdly, we have found a number of glaring instances where
theorists have failed to test their own paradigms in full. The inherent bias in the concept of "cultural deprivation" in social disorganization theory was unmasked when Whyte went into a slum in
Boston to find out what others had assumed before him. Smelser's
literary theory of mass society stands in sharp contrast with the
careful quantitative presentation of Kornhauser's version of mass
society theory. Gurr and coauthors test relative deprivation theory
without including attitudes. Marx, who developed some of the
early canons of social science theory testing, needs to be updated
by those pursuing more modern social science methods. Political
mobilization theory has too many "and so on" references. Each
linkage in the theory of institutional racism is based on data but
the entire structure of linkages has yet to be tested as a causal system of relationships. Structural violence theory has been tested
only in part; attitudinal variables need to be specified.
In regard to our fourth objective, helping to construct critical
tests of theories, we have identified some important exceptions to
many of the predictions of the paradigms in the literature. The
fact that only one in four black children lacks a father is embarrassing to social disorganization theory, which expects most socalled isolated minorities to be deprived. The fact that rioters are
alienated but not atomized requires a revision of mass society theory. Gurr's predictions of the 1970's, based on relative deprivation
theory, were for more violence until expectations were scaled
down to the level of attainments in black America, yet violence
subsided and expectations remained high. The role of revolutionary consciousness is downplayed by Marx, as he wished to be a
strict metaphysical materialist, and Aptheker accordingly mistook
black protest, articulated primarily by middle class blacks, as evidence of revolutionary ferment. Political mobilization theory,
which insists that all violence results from a calculus of self-interest, seems easy to refute. Suicide is the most obvious example.
The theory of institutional racism assumes that there is a widespread acceptance of the American creed, an assumption questioned by students of civil liberties. Structural violence theory pos-
tulates that violence is a response to social injustice, so the
quiescence of citizens of the Soviet Union is an anomaly that
needs to be explained.
Ideologically based differences between paradigms, such as
controversies among political scientists who are for or against
Marxist approaches, can be transcended scientifically (though not
normatively) by a focus on the role of material vis-a-vis nonmaterial factors. The scientific transcendence consists of an appreciation for studies that genuinely leave room for data to specify
which types of underlying factors (ideational or material) best explain a particular phenomenon. The conservatives place their bets
on social disorganization theory, the liberal moderates on mass society theory, and so forth, but they all rise and fall to the extent
that they can both refute all other theories and provide evidence to
support their own biases.
Finally, the research agenda for the study of urban unrest appears to be much clearer at this point than it was before exploring
alternative paradigms in terms of metaphysical underpinnings.
Researchers who continue to leave out attitudinal elements or material factors can hardly be expected to do so without considerable
theoretical justification in the future. There are many unanswered
questions, imperfect research designs, and unintegrated findings
in the field, as we have demonstrated. Social disorganization theory needs to define "cultural deprivation" more clearly. Mass society theory should give more attention to operationalization, particularly of attitudinal components. Relative deprivation theory
needs to take data from more recent eras into account, using attitude studies. Marxist theory should be tested in a conscientious
manner with more recent data. Political mobilization theory
should pay more attention to economic realities that underpin attitudes and interests. Institutional racism theory needs to be tested
as a whole, rather than partially. And structural violence theory
should be applied to Eastern European countries.
If we find that attitudes are more basic than material factors in
a particular study, we need to step behind attitudes to see how
they develop — whether, for example, there are materialist socialization factors. Our agenda can be expanded in this manner in
many areas of research.
What is the general relationship between ideas and matter in
political science? At this point it is obviously premature to say.
Medical researchers investigating the impact of perceived stress on
the incidence of disease are shedding new light on the basic metaphysical question of the role of the mind as the source of bodily
dysfunctions.60 Political scientists may be in a position to do likewise when they orient their research accordingly. A final answer
will not emerge in the immediate future, if ever. What is important is to keep the question in the forefront so that more information will be continually available about the question; science and
human understanding advances by improving upon previous research. Even Hume will have to demur in taking a sceptical view,
as long as science follows his advance to collect more relevant
This essay is an effort to critique a theoretical literature. Conflicting paradigms are known to us all. One way to rise above
the debates of the past is to take a "broader perspective," to quote
Karl Mannheim, who noted that competing theories had differing
value perspectives and metaphysical presuppositions.61 Although I
doubt whether political scientists will ultimately resolve metaphysical disagreements that were first framed some 2500 years ago,
those who investigate urban unrest have a responsibility to sort
out the metaphysical implications of their empirical findings,
thereby advancing the debate beyond its current frontiers.
Rudolph Carnap, "The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical
Analysis of Language," Logical Pbsitivism, ed. A. J. Ayer (Glencoe: Free Press,
1959), p. 65.
Cf. Anthony Giddens, New Rules of Sociological Method (New York: Basic
Books, 1976).
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed. (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1970), pp. viii, 178-79.
Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (London: Hutchinson, 1949).
Herbert Feigl, The "Mental" and the "Physical" (Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press, 1967). See an exploration by a psychologist on the subject: B.
A. Farrell, "The Correlation Between Body, Behavior and Mind," Physiological
Correlates of Human Behavior, ed. Anthony Gale and John A. Edwards (New
York: Academic Press, 1983), vol. 1, chap. 2. See also Perry Black, ed., Physiological Correlates of Emotion (New \brk: Academic Press, 1970).
Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave, eds., Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge (London: Cambridge University Press, 1970).
Kuhn relabels his concept of "paradigm" as "interdisciplinary matrix" in
the second edition of his book in response to these criticisms. I have preferred
to keep his original term in this essay.
William T. Bluhm, "Metaphysics, Ethics, and Political Science," Review of
Politics, 31 (January 1969), 66-87.
Michael Haas, "Paradigms of Political Integration and Unification: Applications to Korea" Journal of Peace Research, 21, no. 1 (1984), 47-60.
The four components of a paradigm, according to Kuhn, are generaliza-
tions, metaphysically shaped metaphors, value commitments, and exemplars
(concrete problem-solutions). Kuhn, Scientific Revolutions, pp. 182-87.
Another branch of metaphysics is theology. Yet another metaphysical issue
is whether parts comprise the true reality or instead whether wholes are the
true reality, the familiar dispute among nominalism and realism, respectively. Determinism and causality are additional topics of concern in the field of metaphysics.
Cf. Richard Taylor, Metaphysics, 2nd ed. (Englewood Cliffs: PrenticeHall, 1974.)
Ibid., chaps. 2-4; Mario Bunge, The Mind-Body Problem (Oxford: Pergamon, 1980).
David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Indianapolis:
Hackett, 1977), p. 114.
Herbert Feigl, "The Mind-Body Problem in the Development of Logical
Empiricism," Readings in the Philosophy of Science, ed. Herbert Feigl and May
Brodbeck (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1953), p. 612. See also
Chung-Ying Cheng, ed., Philosophical Aspects of the Mind-Body Problem (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1975); Paul K. Feyerabend and Grover Maxwell, ed., Mind, Matter, and Method (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
Press, 1966).
Karl von Clausewitz, On War (Baltimore: Pelican, 1968).
Daniel P. Moynihan, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (Washington: U.S. Department of Labor, 1965), p. 11.
Ibid., p. 5.
Daniel P. Moynihan, "The President and the Negro: The Moment Lost,"
Commentary, 43 (February 1967), 33.
John A. McCone, Violence in the City—An End or a Beginning? (Sacramento: Governor's Commission on the Los Angeles Riots, 1965), p. 23.
Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd (New York: Viking, 1960).
O t t o K e r n e r , Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
(New York: New York Times, 1968), p. 128. Nevertheless, Ted Gurr asserts
that "Discontent was most intense among lower-class black Americans, less
among the black bourgeoisie, most of whom were oriented toward white society" (Ted R. Gurr, Why Men Rebel [Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1970], p. 344).
William Ryan, Blaming the Victim, rev. ed. (New York: Vintage, 1976). Le
Bon, The Crowd, p. 32, uses the term barbarian.
Hugh Davis Graham and Ted Robert Gurr, eds., Violence in America (New
York: Signet, 1969); Jerome H. Skolnick, The Politics of Protest (New York: Ballantine, 1969).
Ibid., p. 342.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can't Wait (New York: Signet, 1964);
Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton, Black Power (New York: Vintage,
1967); Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm AT (New York: Grove, 1966). A
similar conclusion is drawn at the end of Peter A. Lupsha, "On Theories of Urban Violence," Urban Affairs Quarterly, 4 (March 1967), 273-96. See also the dissent to the McCone Report by Rev. James Edward Jones, in McCone, Violence
in America, pp. 87-88.
Le Bon, The Crowd; Robert E. Park, Race and Culture (Glencoe: Free
Press, 1950).
See E. L. Hartley, Problems in Prejudice (New York: King's Crown, 1946).
William F. Whyte, Street Comer Society, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1955).
E m i l e D u r k h e i m , The Division of Labor in Society ( N e w York: F r e e Press,
1949); Arthur Kornhauser, The Politics of Mass Society (Glencoe: Free Press,
1959); NeilJ. Smelser, Theory of Collective Behavior (Glencoe: Free Press, 1962).
See also Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1968); Chalmers Johnson, Revolutionary Change (Boston:
Little, Brown, 1966).
Kornhauser, Politics of Mass Society, pp. 33.
Smelser, Theory of Collective Behavior, p . 4 8 .
G u r r , Why Men Rebel.
Crane Brinton, The Anatomy of Revolution (New York: Prentice-Hall,
1938); James C. Davies, "The J-Curve of Rising and Declining Satisfactions as
a Cause of Some Great Revolutions and a Contained Rebellion," Violence in
America, ed. Graham and Gurr, pp. 716-25. See Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old
Regime and the French Revolution (Garden City: Doubleday, 1955), p. 177.
Clark McPhail, "Civil Disorder Participation: A Critical Examination of
Recent Research," American Sociological Review, 36 (December 1971), 1058-73;
Abraham H. Miller, Louis H. Bolce, and Mark Halligan, "The J-Curve Theory and the Black Urban Riots: An Empirical Test of Progressive Relative
Deprivation Theory? American Political Science Review, 71 (September 1977), 96482. See, however, Joel A. Lieske, "The Conditions of Racial Violence in American Cities: A Developmental Synthesis," American Political Science Review, 72
(December 1978), 1324-40.
Gurr, Why Men Rebel, pp. 12-13. I have simplified his more complex arrow diagrams herein for the purpose of this essay. See ibid., chap. 10.
Ibid., p . 1 3 .
Ibid., p . 12.
Ibid., p. 344.
Ryan, Blaming the Victim, pp. 313-14. Perceptions of negative and positive
change are more associated with potential for political violence than perceptions of no change in economic gratification in Bernard N. Grofman and
Edward N. Muller, "The Strange Case of Relative Gratification and Potential
for Political Violence: The V-Curve Hypothesis," American Political Science Review, 72 (June 1973), 514-39.
Ted Robert Gurr and Raymond Duvall, "Civil Conflict in the 1960s: A
Reciprocal Theoretical System with Parameter Estimates," Comparative Political
Studies, 6 (July 1973), 135-70.
Lionel R o b b i n s , The Economic Causes of War ( L o n d o n : C a p e , 1940), p . 3 3 .
V. I. Lenin, Imperialism (New York: International Publishers, 1939), p.
10; Lenin, "The War and Russian Social-Democracy," Selected Works (New York:
International Publishers, 1935), 5: 123-30.
Herbert Aptheker, "The Watts Ghetto Uprising," Political Affairs, 44 (October 1965), 16-29; 44 (November 1965), 28-44.
Nathan S. Kaplan and Jeffery M. Paige, "A Study of Ghetto Rioters,"
Scientific American, 219 (August 1968), 15-21; Robert M. Fogelson and Robert
B. Hill, "Who Riots? A Study of Participation in the 1967 Riots," Supplementary
Studies for the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Washington: Gov-
ernment Printing Office, 1968), pp. 217-44.
See Nathan Caplan, "The New Ghetto Man: A Review of Recent Empirical Studies," Journal of Social Issues, 26 (Winter 1970), 59-74; T. M. Tomlinson,
"The Development of a Riot Ideology Among Urban Negroes," Racial Violence
in the United States, ed. Allen D. Grimshaw (Chicago: Aldine, 1969), pp. 22635.
John Stuart Mill, Representative Government (New York: Everyman Editions, n.d. [1861]); Charles Tilly, From Mobilization to Revolution (Reading,
Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1978); Joe R. Feagin and Harlan Hahn, Ghetto Revolts
(New York: Macmillan, 1973); William A. Gamson, The Strategy of Social Protest
(Homewood, 111.: Dorsey, 1975).
Tilly, From Mobilization to Revolution, p . 185.
G a m s o n , Strategy of Social Protest, p . 138.
T h e e x a m p l e is, of c o u r s e , from Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971), 401 U S
Ryan, Blaming the Victim, chap. 9. See also Peter H. Rossi and Richard
A. Berk, "Local Political Leadership and Popular Discontent in the Ghetto,"
Collective Violence, ed. James A. Short, Jr., and Marvin Wolfgang (Chicago: Aldine Atherton, 1972), chap. 22.
Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma (New York: Harper, 1944), part 5.
R y a n , Blaming the Victim, p . 239.
Samuel A. Stouffer, Communism, Conformity, and Civil Liberties (New York:
Wiley, 1955).
J o h a n G a l t u n g , "Violence, Peace, a n d Peace Research," Journal of Peace
Research, 6 (1969), 168.
Ibid., p . 1 7 9 .
Douglas A. Hibbs, Jr., Mass Political Violence (New York: Wiley, 1973),
pp. 180-87.
See Christopher Jencks, Who Gets Ahead? (New York: Basic Books, 1979).
See Thomas J. Coates, Lydia Temoshok and Jeffrey Mandel, "Psychosocial Research Is Essential to Understanding and Treating AIDS," American Psychologist, 39 (November 1984), 1309-14.
Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia (New York: Harcourt, Brace, World,
1936), p. 153.