IFAS paper: A qualitative investigation into beliefs about aggression in an Indian sample

Van Lal Thanzami, John Archer, Cath Sullivan

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Purpose: This paper aims to investigate Western studies on beliefs about aggression which have found that men typically hold instrumental beliefs and women hold expressive beliefs. Design/methodology/approach: To investigate whether beliefs about aggression are qualitatively different in an Indian sample, interviews were undertaken with focus groups of 16 and 26-year-olds from north-east India. Findings: IPA analysis indicated that respondents viewed their aggression in terms of: how they might appear; honour or shame; gender roles; and as a loss of self-control. These findings indicate that beliefs about aggression held in this Indian sample are more complex than can be characterised by the instrumental/expressive dimension. Practical implications: Implications of these findings for developing more culture-specific measures of beliefs about aggression are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-209
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggression
  • Beliefs
  • Collectivist culture
  • Gender roles
  • Instrumental and expressive beliefs
  • Self-control
  • Shame

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