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 (181kB)
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 Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 The Author
ISSN: 1464-3529
Keywords: violence; history; culture; evolutionary psychology; theory; gender
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)
Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC)
Item ID: 24807
Depositing User: John Wood
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2011 14:47
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 19:39
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU