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What Makes People Loot? 为何有人打劫呢?
http://edu.QQ.com  2011年08月12日10:23   BBC英伦网   我要评论(0) 

英语(论坛)学习点: Rioting and Looting 暴动和打劫

Young people looting a shop

A couple of young people looting a shop for electrical equipment

People in the UK are in shock after days of brazen thefts and wanton damage during riots in London and other cities in England. Across the media, there have been images of people walking into shops and helping themselves to flat-screen TVs, clothes and other items.

But what is it that turns people into looters? Criminologists and psychologists have been considering what happens.

Some politicians have been quick to describe the rioting as simply thuggery. But experts point out that only some of those involved will have committed such crimes before; and others are swept along with the crowd.

Psychologists say that people lose their moral identity in a large group and empathy and guilt - the human qualities which prevent us from behaving like criminals – are lost as we take on the values of the group.

For the looters there's a sense of safety in numbers. Because hundreds of people are taking part in the criminal activities, individuals feel they are likely to get away with it.

According to Dr Lance Workman, rioters and looters may develop a temporary moral code in their minds which justifies their actions: "There are rich people who have things I don't have so it's right that I take it." However, there is also evidence which suggests gang leaders have psychopathic tendencies, he says.

Academics also think that socio-economic factors must be taken into account. Most of the rioters are from poor estates and feel they have nothing to lose.

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