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Respect, Defense, and Self-Identity

Profiling Parricide in Nineteenth-Century America, 1852-1899


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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The Violence Studies series aims to publish work that explores violence in the diverse areas of human life from the bedroom to the battlefield and in its different modes of appearance from language to social and economic structures to the infliction of physical harm. This series is particularly, though not exclusively, directed toward scholars in the areas of philosophy, literature, sociology, and cultural studies. It seeks to encompass a wide range of theoretical approaches and disciplinary orientations investigating the phenomena of violence and how they are expressed and codified in literature, cultural and political practice, and in the forms of human society. It also welcomes works that explore the ways in which violence is inflicted on the non-human world of animals and the environment. We are especially interested in books exploring the intersections of violence and religion, violence in language and rhetoric, as well as studies on the issues of gender, power and ideology as they relate to questions of violence. This series welcomes both individually authored and collaboratively authored books and monographs as well as edited collections of essays and conference proceedings.  

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