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2014 | 2 | 49-64

Article title

Psychospołeczne paradoksy przemocy



Title variants

Psychosocial paradoxes of violence

Languages of publication



The paper presents several paradoxes related to violence and their psychosocial explanations. The goal was not to deny the common knowledge, but to find a more complete description and better understanding of this complex phenomenon. In opposition to the uncontested perception of violence as a phenomenon ruining human relationships, there was highlighted its role as a factor in consolidating the group – collective violence against „them” in a situation of conflict, and particularly violence against the „scapegoat”. Recalling the views of Rene Girard, collective murder committed upon a scapegoat was presented as part of the founding mechanism of society. Also, the unique and amazing bond can connect to the victim and his/her pursuer. Some psychological explanation for the phenomenon of „Stockholm Syndrome” were presented – a classic: from the psychoanalytic perspective and its reinterpretation on the grounds of social psychology. The second topic is associated with social perception of the victim of violence – there were presented psychological mechanisms, explaining why, instead of getting compassion and help, the victim is often humiliated, accused of provocation and blamed. This unjust judgment paradoxically is associated with sharing „belief in a just world” from Mervin Lerner’s theory. Another paradox relates to helping victims of violence. Firstly the aid may be undesirable and rejected by the victim, secondly, helping can caused additional suffering (the phenomenon of „secondary victimization”), and thirdly, persons who try to help can drop in the trap of satisfying their own selfish needs.


  • Krakowska Akademia im. Andrzeja Frycza Modrzewskiego


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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