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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 & 6 Forms of Violence Cntd Sep 23.docx

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McMaster University
Religious Studies
Ann Pearson

[RS 2H03—A. Pearson; from Lecture slides] Forms of Violence Interpersonal, institutional, state, structural, cultural Defining/categorizing violence * Johan Galtung describes violence as: “any action, word, attitude, structure, or system that causes physical, psychological and/or ecological damage, preventing people from reaching their full potential”. In Galtung’s analysis, * Violence is defined as the cause of the difference between the potential and the actual physical and psychological well-being of individuals; * Violence is that which increases this distance when the distance is avoidable. “Direct” violence has 4 elements associated with it: * An identifiable actor or group of actors; * An identifiable physical action or behaviour; * A clear physical or psychological harm; and * An identifiable victim who suffers the harm. BUT, -There are other forms of violence that may be lacking one or more of these 4 elements, yet still cause great harm • Violence may be present in the social order • The media that propagandizes it & the people that feed it & all the stereotypes Barak’s 3 categories of violence 1. Interpersonal (usually direct violence) what happens between people acting in their private lives, without regard to occupational roles or formal institutions, e.g. * Assault and battery * corporal punishment * homicide and murder * kidnapping * rape and sexual assault * robbery * suicide (and other forms of self-violence) * verbal abuse, threats, and intimidation. 2. Institutional (direct and indirect) what happens within an institutional context vis-a-vis the action of institutional agents * Family: child and elder abuse, spousal abuse * Economic: corporate and workplace abuse (i.e., distributing defective products, subjecting workers to unsafe or unhealthy conditions) * Military: ranging from petty hazing of recruits to war crimes (i.e., torture and murder of civilian or noncivilian ‘enemy’ populations) * Religious: abuse in the name of religious organizations, sects, or beliefs = creedism (prejudice against those of other faiths, often fanned by religious leaders and manipulated by the state/politicians for their own purposes) State violence: Abuse by authority—including criminal justice and penal institutions—of fundamental human rights (i.e., assassinations, discrimination, enslavement/ bonded labour) Genocide or the attempt to eliminate a whole group of people identified by race, ethnicity, religion, etc., in a systematic way State-supported terrorism War/armed conflict: between states or within states (civil war, guerilla war, “insurgencies”) * Non-state Terrorism: using physical violence to cause psychological violence against a targeted but also random population to force change; or “the unlawful use of threatened use of violent force by a person or organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or forcing people or governments, for ideological or political reasons.” 3. Structural violence: Barak: “what happens within the context of establishing, maintaining, extending, and/or resisting hierarchy, privilege, and inequality” Weigert: “preventable harm or damage to persons (& by extension to things) where there is no actor committing the violence or where it is not meaningful to search for the actor(s); such violence emerges from the unequal distribution of power and resources or, in other words, is said to be built into the structure(s)” Monopolized Adversarial Exacerbates Structural violence is “the most basic or fundamental form of violence… expressive of the conditions of society, the structures of social order, and the institutional arrangements of power that reproduce mass violations of personhood 24/7” [Barak] Systemic violence/systems of oppression against a whole group (gender, ethnicity, religion, class) * E.g., sexism manifested in various forms of violence against women: rape, assault, sexual harassment, verbal abuse; pornography? And where some women are more often victims than others. * Or, racism often related to: various kinds of structural violence: e.g, enforced poverty * Conditions of structural violence can be called “social injustice”. * Structural violence “reinforces adversarial social organization that incorporates both personal and impersonal ideologies of difference, privilege, and inequality”, and “exacerbates other forms of interpersonal and institutional violence.” [Barak] No Logo: Structural Violence: (video) -Large multi-national corporations have convinced us that these “crappy” jobs such as McDonald’s or Wal-Mart is okay, & the minimum wage is not a big deal as long as you consider it to be experience -However, it really is not considering they are jobs “with training wheels” What Would You Do-Bike Theft (Being black & living in North America): Video -White guy trying to steal the bike got attention but nobody called 911 -The black guy that tried to steal the bike got much more attention & a lot of people were calling 911 -The white blonde girl got attention
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