Emblematic violence and aetiological cul-de-sacs: On the discourse of 'one-punch' (non) fatalities

Asher Leigh Gevaux Flynn, Mark Halsey, Murray Lee

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19 Citations (Scopus)


With well over 90 one-punch fatalities in the past decade, Australia likely holds the dubious honour of being at the epicentre of such incidents. In this article, we argue that political and legal responses to one-punch violence have been based on fairly cursory understandings of why these events occur. By way of contrast, we suggest that one-punch fatalities (and non-fatalities) are emblematic of deeper undercurrents of antisocial conduct and dispositions in late modern Australian life. In an effort to break open the discursive limits of one-punch violence, we briefly engage with perpetrator narratives - the missing voice in these debates. Such engagement, we argue, is key to developing a more nuanced understanding of why male on male violence continues to be a major issue of sociocultural concern.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179 - 195
Number of pages17
JournalThe British Journal of Criminology
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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