The Open UniversitySkip to content

A change of perspective: integrating evolutionary psychology into the historiography of violence

Wood, John Carter (2011). A change of perspective: integrating evolutionary psychology into the historiography of violence. British Journal of Criminology, 51(3) pp. 479–498.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (177Kb)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Despite lively debates in many related fields about whether biological and evolutionary approaches can contribute to social and cultural investigations of human behaviour, historians have rarely confronted this issue directly. The historiography of violence is a partial exception, but there has been relatively little interdisciplinary exchange on topics central to both historical and natural-science analyses. Nevertheless, historians of violence have relied upon two concepts - 'social roles' and 'social construction' - that have been subject to constructive critique and revision from Darwinian perspectives. This article concludes by arguing that greater incorporation of evolutionary psychological perspectives and approaches into social and cultural analyses of violence (whether historical or contemporary) has much to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of physical aggression.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2010 The Author
ISSN: 1464-3529
Keywords: violence; history; culture; evolutionary psychology; theory; gender
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > History
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)
Item ID: 24807
Depositing User: John Wood
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2011 14:47
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2016 18:05
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340