Re-examining exposure to violence
This chapter outlines the basic conceptual framework of the book. It starts off by presenting a brief summary of the dominant approach to the study of the psychological consequences of ETV and presents the main critique of this medical/clinical approach. This is done by highlighting the specific factors responsible for the development of PTSD as the dominant mental health criteria for populations exposed to violence and the limitations therein. Moreover, the particular nature of ongoing conflict is discussed as a special context that requires going beyond a PTSD approach. Following the first conceptual foundation, the second main foundation of the book derives from contemporary social psychological work that calls for more nuanced explorations into how violence is processed by individuals. In line with this, the chapter discusses at length the psychological concept of an extremist mindset and the dimensions of extremist thought that can influence how individuals react emotionally and behaviourally when exposed to violence. Lastly the chapter point outs the guiding theoretical and methodological ideas that have shaped this attempt.