Emblematic Violence and Aetiological Cul-De-Sacs: On the Discourse of "One-punch" (Non) Fatalities

Asher 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
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


    • crime theory
    • male violence
    • street violence
    • theories of violence


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