Crime, Culture and War

  • Stephen J. Morewitz

In this chapter, the role of death threats in crime, cultural traditions, and wars and other conflict is discussed. It describes how death threats are embedded in the norms, values, and beliefs, in societies and as a result, death threats can become institutionalized as patterns of behavior among both legitimate and illegal groups and organizations. This process of institutionalization allows groups and governments to make death threats themselves and evade sanctioning under certain conditions.

Death Threats, Crime, and Culture

Criminals resort to death threats to achieve their illegal goals, such as obtaining payment for activities related to blackmail, extortion, kidnapping, drugs, prostitution, gambling, bribery, and other criminal enterprises (MacDonald, 1968). Extortionists and loan sharks routinely threaten to kill individuals to obtain money and other goods and services. Sex offenders and murderers may threaten to kill their victims before carrying out their threats. Kidnappers...


Sexual Violence Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Hate Crime Gang Member Child Soldier 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen J. Morewitz
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.TarzanaUSA
  3. 3.Buffalo GroveUSA

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