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June 20 , 2010

Why We Kill

Understanding Violence Across Cultures and Disciplines


Infanticide, serial killings, war, terrorism, abortion, honour killings, euthanasia, suicide bombings and genocide; all involve taking of life. Put most simply, all involve killing one or more other people. Yet cultural context influences heavily how one perceives all of these, and indeed, some readers of this paragraph may already have thought: 'But surely that doesn't belong with those others, that's not really killing.'

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Why We Kill examines violence in many of its manifestations, exploring how culture plays a role in people's understanding of violent action.

From the first chapter, which tries to understand multiple forms of domestic homicide including infanticide, filicide, spousal homicide and honour killings, to the final chapter's bone-chilling account of the massacre at Murambi in Rwanda, this fascinating book makes compelling reading.

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