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Respect, Defense, and Self-Identity

Profiling Parricide in Nineteenth-Century America, 1852-1899

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Phillip Chong Ho Shon

Ever since Oedipus unwittingly killed his father and married his mother in Sophocles’ play, parricide – the killing of a parent or another close relative – has been a dominant motif in works of literature, film, psychoanalytic theory, and criminology. Yet, parricide, for much of the twentieth and twenty-first century, has been framed as an adolescent phenomenon, with child abuse proffered as the overriding cause related to the killing of parents. Respect, Defense, and Self-Identity provides a new way of understanding parricides by analyzing the behavior of offenders and victims at the scene of the crime in relation to the sources of conflict. This book examines the conflict between parents and their offspring across the life course and argues that parricides are shaped by factors such as respect, defense, and self-identity. Respect, Defense, and Self-Identity is recommended for classroom use in courses such as criminology, homicide, family violence, and social work.
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About the author

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Phillip Chong Ho Shon is Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in criminal justice in 2003 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Shon has authored several articles and books, including How to Read Journal Articles in the Social Sciences and Language and Demeanor in Police-Citizen Encounters. His research interests include police behavior, police-citizen encounters, law and society, sociology of law, criminology, and homicide studies.

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