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Roads diverged: An examination of violent and nonviolent pathways in the aftermath of the Bosnian war*


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--- - |2 Abstract Despite renewed interest among criminologists in war and genocide, still understudied are the implications of mass violence for human development and behavior over the life course. By drawing on detailed life history data gathered from 55 male Bosnian refugees and nationals, in this work, I examine the shared beginnings of men who experienced the Bosnian war and genocide (1992–1995) in their youth, as well as examine their divergent pathways over time and across two distinct postwar contexts. My findings reveal that violent pathways are shaped by the confluence of social–psychological mechanisms (e.g., the normalization of violence) and exogenous risk factors (e.g., family disruption and loss of male role models). Compared with nonviolent men, who emphasize themes of catharsis and resilience, and the emulation of prosocial models of masculinity, violent men's narratives are distinguished by themes of persecution and exile, the emulation of violent role models, and contextual barriers to attaining valued masculine identities. Beyond the experience of war, these findings have implications for understanding how early experiences of chronic violence and community disruption shape turning points and cultural frames over the life course, and they indicate that studies of violent pathways should grant greater primacy to the social–historical context and the meaning individuals ascribe to their experiences. - 'Criminology, Volume 57, Issue 1, Page 74-104, February 2019. '