Working Groups

WG11 Violence and Society

Established March 2020 - Upgraded to Working Group 11 in 2024.


People from all walks of life experience many forms of violence and/or are bombarded daily with information and images that continually highlight the potential threat of violence. Not surprisingly, then, violence continues to be a prominent individual, social, legal and political concern, taking the form of many questions: How is the relationship between violence and other forms of power changing? Are neoliberal forms of capitalism being replaced by more authoritarian, fascist and violent forms? Under what conditions do economic crises cascade into violence? How do gendered political mobilizations shape the outcome of uprisings? Why is it so hard for conflict zones to transition to peace? What is the nature, implications and impacts of forms of resistance to violence? How should the global dimensions of violence, which have become increasingly visible, not only in relations between states but between mobile groups and individuals, be understood?

The concept of violence continues to be contested and debates are ongoing about where the boundaries of violence are to be drawn. There is a need to develop and improve data and methodologies. The sociological study of violence has played a core role in the evolution of our understandings of violence, including interpersonal, inter-group and inter-state violence. Sociological theory has sought to explain and document how social structures, relations, processes, identities and inequalities can exacerbate and/or protect against violence in our lives. Violence is an important part of sociology – both on its own and because it emerges in the study of many other social phenomena including social change, interpersonal relations, law, health culture and governance, just to name a few. We will interrogate, examine and reflect upon contrasting positions about violence across societies and implications for sociological theories of violence, bringing together sociologists worldwide.

Board 2023 - 2027

Co-Presidents   Myrna DAWSON, University of Guelph, Canada,
Sylvia WALBY, Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom,
Secretary   Martin Hernan DI MARCO, University of Oslo, Norway,
Treasurer   Lynn RAPAPORT, Pomona College, USA,
Board Members   Margaret ABRAHAM, Hofstra University, USA
Elspeth MCINNES, University of South Australia, Australia
Monica Maria Borges MESQUITA, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal
Oliver NAHKUR, University of Tartu, Estonia

Program Coordinators for V ISA Forum of Sociology 2025 are:
Sylvia WALBY,


2024 Issue 1  
2023 Issue 1 Issue 2


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