Sunday, May 11, 2008

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Narcissism Increasing the World Over

I just came back from a three week trip to India and while in New Delhi I gave a presentation on criminal profiling and its usefulness to investigations within the country. Psychopathy, I discovered, is on the rise and all one has to do is read the The Times of India to find out how bad it has gotten.

April 1 - Father bludgeons son to death when the latter resists his sexual advances towards his wife

April 6 - Drunkard gambler kills wife to clear off debt

April 7 - Businessman gets brother-in-law killed over Rs 300 crore worth of property

April 14 - Schoolteacher kills seven members of her own family who objected to her affair

April 18 - Son suspect father of having affair with his wife. Hacks wife and kids.

April 18 - Executive kills his adopted parents and pregnant wife. He was having an affair.

Frightening, isn't it? Indian sociologist Ravider Kaur notes that there is an increase in individualization of self: that individuals don't wish to be controlled by family. In other words, narcissism is rising within India and instead of cooperating with society and family, more people are simply killing off those who don't go along with their program.

Why is the self-centeredness becoming such a problem? Where does it come from? What is changing the world over that we should see so many people become victims because someone in their life objects to their existence?

One possibility is a change in attitude toward entitlement and expectations. The is an increased number of people one have very high desires and thinks other should give them what they want (or get out of their way if they are blocking their goals). If they fail to achieve their goals and quickly, they rage against society and any part of it they feel has a part in their failure.

It would be an interesting cross-cultural study to see how psychopathy is gaining inroads in other country. Meanwhile, I have joined forces with the Academy of Investigation and Intelligence Management in New Delhi to train detectives because there is surely going to be a big need to criminal profiling as the violent crime rate rises.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Preraphazon said...

Fascinating! Having come from a very oppressive societal background, I have a theory which I have seen proven over and over that the greater the oppression, the more extreme the rebellion against it will be, down to the man. Maybe that plays some part in this as well.

Maybe the information age, with its economic and social expansion, has opened a door that not only brought in the phenomenon of Western entitlement but also opened a fissure through which some are clamoring to break out of deeply ingrained societal mores toward, as you say, individuation, the most extreme and damaged killing literally as well as figuratively the traditional family infrastructure.

Pat Brown said...

Yes, I see a similar trend in Jamaica. Once upon a time there up in the hills, people might have been poor but their expectations were not so far above their lives. I think this kept the disatisfaction down to a dull roar. If you are a yam farmer with a small self-built house and what you see in your limited travels is someone with a slightly larger house and maybe pretty curtains. Then the yam farmer thinks, hmm, maybe if I work hard, I can get some new curtains by the end of the summer and then if I have a couple good years, I can get material to add a room on to the house.

But, now, that same area has a lot of angry young people. They were born to yam farmers but they saw not just the house down the street, but the house on Dallas and Miami Vice and it is not built out of bauxite by Grandpa but out of but of storebought materials and the floors are marble and the kitches have a myriad of gadgets, and, in front of that house is a Ferrari! Suddenly, the little bauxite house with a mule in front of it seems a failure and with no means to attain the "next" level, the teens are developing an angry attitude. They see but cannot have and likely can never have.

I think the same is true for adultery and murder. In a time when one expected to stay married, the society expected one to stay married and the television shows were Make Room for Daddy and Leave it to Beaver, the brain said this is fine. But now, with all those babes on television and society telling folks they should have super exciting sex lives and experience what they want, it is no wonder so many don't want a monogamous and permanent relationship any more.

Narcissim and "the gap" make for a dangerous combination.


Preraphazon said...

I keep hoping internet will become the great equalizer, because good will also come of it, but in any era of great change, there will be a down side.

Bear in mind that India already has a certain built-in male entitlement because it's very much a male-dominated society with arranged marriages, etc., and abuse is often overlooked. I had a young female Indian assistant who we had to call an ambulance for as her arranged wedding approached. Her anxiety at the selling of her virginity was outweighed only by the anxiety about the dire consequences if she defied her family and culture. Do not for a minute doubt that I schooled her well in her American legal rights.

And now the Internet is like a trouble-making "me" anyone can turn on any time of day whispering of rebellion, which will bring good as it lifts the veil; but at the same time, as you say, it gives many a false impression that everyone except them is living like kings.

ariel rain said...

i find it interesting that we as people are the same in our country or another. what an honor to travel to india and train detectives on profiling. your work, drive, and passion amaze me. we need more people like you out there making a difference.