Criminologists have attempted to explain why individuals using the notion of social influence vs. removing restraint. However, this paper argues that social influence can not induce participation into crime without causing agents who facilitate continued participation in collective violence.In this discussion, criminologists depart from two major workable assumptions: first, individuals must be persuaded to engage in collective violence, since most individuals are not inclined to crime; second, if individuals are inclined to crime in this case collective violence, then it implies that these individuals shall engage in crime as long as there is no restraining mechanism in place.
Theories explaining involvement in collective violence assumes that most people can not commit crimes unless induced by personal, social or environmental factors. In this regard, social influence refers to external pressure from either an individual or a certain group that generates a change in the target person’s attitude and behavior. Therefore, basing on the Shoa case, the non-elite perpetrators could not have engaged in violence against humanity on their own without influence and support of the Nazi German (Macmaster 2004).
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