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Atrocity, Mundanity and Mental State


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Bostock, WW 2002 , 'Atrocity, Mundanity and Mental State' , Journal of Mundane Behavior, vol. 3, no. 3 .

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Abstract: The paper explores the idea that atrocity is an attack on mundanity causing and caused by disturbance to collective mental states. Atrocity caused by a disturbed individual acting alone could be the result of a desire to disrupt the mundanity of others because of a perception offence. Shocking though these isolated individual acts are, they have no political repercussion. Another type of atrocity is the organised group atrocity carried out for political objectives. In this case, there will be severe and long-term repercussions, and in extreme cases, they can even escalate to war. Again perceptions and moods are present, but in this case they will be shared collectively. As collective mental disturbance is becoming globalized, it can be assumed that atrocity and war will continue. After reviewing current thinking about the nature and causes of disturbed mental states, the paper notes that the trauma of atrocity and the burden of mundanity have been implicated in each other. A research agenda using simulated conflict dynamic and conflict resolution techniques is suggested and a program of action to calm a disturbed collective mental state is indicated.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Bostock, WW
Keywords: atrocity, terrorism, psychological factors
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Mundane Behavior
ISSN: 1529-3041
Additional Information:

This article was republished with permission in Revista Brasileira de Sociologia da Emocao/Brazilian Journal of the Sociology of Emotion (ISSN 1676-8965), 5, 13, (April 2007), 87-101 at

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