The opening chapter introduces a sociohistorical approach to the study of familicide, which takes shape against the backdrop of the ethnographic research and social policy work of the author. The author discusses the systematic methodology used to gather information on 211 cases of familicide. One of the core arguments of the book is that familicide constitutes one of the many consequences of the emotional conditions of modern life. The author defines modern life and maps the historical emergence of familicide. He discusses the research into familicide, family killing, and homicide, stressing the importance of focusing on emotions as a way of making sense of familicide. In particular, he develops the idea of an emotional continuum as a means of understanding the range of perpetrators' emotional styles.
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