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Vigilantism - Circumstances it occurs, bystander action

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Under what circumstances will vigilantism occur? Why is bystander inaction more likely when there's a group, but the presence of others increases vigilantism?

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Solution Summary

Vigilantism can occur due to a variety of reasons such as social unrest and perceived social injustice (including a lack of trust in the police).

Bystander effect is more likely to increase vigilantism, explanations for this behaviour include diffused responsibility and ambiguity.

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Vigilantism means 'taking the law into one's own hands'. There are many reasons why such behaviour occurs.

Vigilantism may occur due to SOCIAL UNREST or perceived SOCIAL INJUSTICE. A society (or particularly a section of society) may feel that they are being unfairly treated by other members and law enforcement agencies. This may cause an increase in vigilantism.

This phenomenon can also be seen within societies where there is little or no trust in the police force or the criminal justice system. If, for example the police don't appear to be 'doing their job' in a particular instance, a vigilanty group may form to bring about justice (often such groups are seen ...

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