This article explores the relationships between crime, collective responses to it, and the social production of so-called great criminals. It argues that crime, especially sexual and violent crime, produces significant imbalances in individuals habitually subject to instrumental actions, identitarian thinking and positive law. These imbalances are emotional as well as cognitive and, under certain conditions of communication, can generate states of multitude, that is, collective states linked to an intense affectivity and to the prevalence of mythic or symbolic thinking. These states reach their limits and become condensed in the mytho-historical figure of the great criminal. In this sense, great criminals are a function of such multitudinous states: points of imputation that concentrate and catalyze the affective imagination unleashed by collective effervescence.
- Great criminals,
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