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ROAD RAGE: AN EXPLORATORY ANALYSIS

Nancy J. Herman, Patricia L. Little and John H. French
Michigan Sociological Review
Vol. 13 (Fall 1999), pp. 65-79
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40969036
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
ROAD RAGE: AN EXPLORATORY ANALYSIS
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Abstract

Adopting a symbolic interactionist perspective, this exploratory study, based on 97 open-ended interviews, examines the phenomenon popularly known as u road rage. "Previous research has examined this behavior largely in terms of individual pathology, and it has been narrow and reductionistic. This research has portrayed human behavior in static terms, has underreported rates of road rage, and, in general, has failed to provide a holistic understanding of the phenomenon. In contrast, this study focuses on some of the processual dimensions and the dynamic nature of road rage—specifically, from the subjective points of view of both the perpetrators and the victims. The findings address the nature and types of road rage, its origins, and the consequences of this phenomenon. In accord with the framework of Sykes and Matza (1957), our subjects utilized various techniques of neutralization in order to justify road rage behavior. The implications and suggestions for future research on this topic are also addressed.

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