What are institutions?
Write down as many as you can think of!
Aggression can occur WITHIN GROUPS or
What do you think we mean by this?
Institutions are simply groups of people held together
by a common factor
They may be distinct entities, eg schools, prisons
They may be distinct groups, eg police, army
They may be less distinct groups, eg terrorist groups
What examples of aggression can you think of for each
of these institutions?
A survey of NHS services reported over 84,000
violent or abusive incidents on staff in 2000/01
(Department of Health 2002)
26,000 prisoner-prisoner assaults in US prisons
Why do you think this behaviour occurs in
Take 5 minutes to jot down some ideas...
STUCK? Think of the types of people, the situation
and the environment!!
In pairs, brainstorm why people in
prison may be aggressive
1) Interpersonal factors- The importation
- Prisoners ‘import’ their attitudes, values ‘social
histories’ and traits into the prison. (Irwin and
- What influences do these have?
- Write down the answer
Dispositional (individualistic ) causes
This suggests that the behaviour is due to ‘a few bad
apples’ and not due to the situation
Therefore any aggression in prisons is due to the
personalities of the individual inmates rather than the
situation they have been put in
General Myers, a chairman in the US Army state that
the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison was not systematic
abuse but in fact due to ‘rogue soldiers’
Classified prisoners into three subcultures through their
values, attitudes and experiences
• Follow the norms
associated with being a thief
• Values such as not betraying
each other or being
trustworthy amongst other
criminals are important.
• Have been raised in prison
• Look for positions of power
or influence within the
• This group are most likely
to turn to aggression
• Influenced by deprivation
prior to being imprisoned
and bring values of that
subculture inside with them.
• Tend to be one-time
• Weren't part of a criminal
subculture before going
• Rejects both other groups
within prison and identify
more with prison officers
• Tend not to be very
aggressive whilst in prison.
2) Situational factors- The Deprivation
-says that the behaviour is the product of
stressful/oppressive conditions of the institution
itself- Paterline and Peterson 1999
Zimbardo claimed that many of the same psychological
processes were found between the Stanford Prison
Experiment and Abu Ghraib suggesting situational factors
had a major impact of the behaviour of the guards
However many studies do not support the deprivation
model, showing pre-institutionalisation was the biggest
predictor of inmate aggression regardless of the particular
features of the institution
COME TO THE NEXT LESSON PREPARED WITH A
SEARCH/WRITTEN DOCUMENT OF A RECENT
INCIDENCE OF INSTITUTIONAL AGGRESSION
PLEASE EXPLAIN IT USING THE CONCEPTS AND
PROCESSES THAT WE HAVE LEARNED TODAY
YOU WILL BE READING THEM OUT IN THE