Essay: The social influence approach

Sample Essay

The social influence approach applied by social psychologists in relation to explaining engagement in collective violence, it poses some methodological challenges. For instance, the notion of compliance poses a challenge to document in such a way that even in absent of Nazi Germany authority or even when Himmler gave stoppage order other junior officials continued killing of the Jews (Blass 2002). Thus it becomes had to affirm whether it falls in other category of social influence mechanisms, since at this point it’s clear that compliance is not the primary mechanism causing persons to commit this collective crime (Blass 2002; Macmaster 2004).

Furthermore, there is a theoretical weakness (Blass 2002) in these social influence mechanisms explanations in the sense that they do not place forward an explanation for different causation in engaging in crime by various individuals; why mechanisms triggers off engagement in one group while not in others. Secondly, the mechanisms do not in any way explain or account why genocidal scenes experience excessive brutality prior to killing; excessive violence. Lastly, the account lacks a connection account between social influence and genocide. For instance, there are various places with social influence mechanisms available but no genocide occur; thus, failure to account for two fundamental questions where and when they are?

According to Levi (1973), he states that in cases of collective violence such as Shoa, the important issues is to prevent or restraining the violence, since producing violence does not in any way mean promoting it actively. This argument depict that crime is the preferred human response in unconstrained government: attributed to failure of liberal governance.

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