Chapter 8-Cultural Construction of Conflict and Violence Mar 26 2009

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23 Aug 2010
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ETHNOGRAPHIC EXAMPLES: KIOWA, YANAMAMO, VICE LORDS, JU/HOANSI, SEMAI, INUIT, XINGUANO, BUID, SOA
NON-BOLDED TERMS: TECHNOSTRATEGIC LANGUAGE
Chapter 8: The Cultural Construction of Conflict and Violence
Introduction
x The Justification of Violent Conflict
o Violence= intrinsic feature of human societies
o Why is violence universally sanctioned?
Human nature?
Human construct meaning to justify violence?
How Do Societies Create A Bias in Favour of Collective Violence?
x Creating bias toward collective violence is to reward it
x Horses, Rank, and Warfare Among the Kiowa
o Horses=wealth
o Among Kiowa, rank was determined by,
Number of horses a man possessed
Honours accruing him in warfare
o Kiowa society divided into 4 ranks- to move up a man needed to acquire horses/honours from warfare
o Kiowa rewarded aggressive behaviour and bravery in battle
x Good Hosts Among Yanomamo
o Another way societies create favour of collective violence is to make it necessary as a way of protecting valuable
resources
o Intervillage warfare is endemic to Yanomamo
o Women/children= valuable resources
o Men believe that to protect themselves/resources= hey must be fierce/raid other villages in a way to demonstrate
their ferocity
o Ferocity may be directed towards village members as well (men beating wives)
o Men strive to acquire females from others, to adopt an antagonistic stance towards others-> encouraging
development of ferocity
o Yanomamo, socialize male children to be aggressive/hostile (strike tormentors, bully girls)
x Constructing Religious Justifications for Violence
o Cosmic struggle between good and evil
o Most modern religions contain sacred texts describing violence confrontations between g/e
o Ppl use religious rhetoric to justify violent acts
How Do Societies Create A Bias Against Violent Conflict?
x Characteristics of Peaceful Societies
o Conflict over material resources is avoided in peaceful societies
o Emphasis on sharing/cooperation
o Ju/Hoansi
The person whose arrow kills an animal is considered to be the owner of the game/obligated to distribute it
J/H will share arrows w/ the understanding that if they kill an animal with arrow given by someone else,
they will give that owner the game
Men sharing glory/meat distribution
o Semai
Non-aggressiveness/avoidance of physical conflict
It is the obligation of all members of the community to help and give nurturance to others
Pebnum: encompasses a depiction of the community as nurturant caregivers
Semai values stress affiliation, mutual aid, and the belief that violence is not a viable option for settling
disputes
o Condemning those who boast or make claims that can be interpreted as a challenge to others
o Avoid telling others what to do and carefully control their emotions in order to maintain goodwill
o Inuit
Believe that strong thoughts can kill or cause illness
o Xinguanos
The Amazon maintains harmony by purposely sanctioning each village monopolies in the production of
certain goods
Each village has something the other village needs= village therefore maintains good relations since to
alienate another village migKWGHSULYHRQH¶VRZQYLOODJHRIDGHVLUHGJRRG
Place string negative value on aggression and things that symbolize aggression
Killing is wrong because it produces blood
Hold string stereotypes of aggressive groups (non-Xingu Indians= wild Indians)
Minimize violence through ceremony
x 'DQFLQJKHDWVXS³QXP´NHHSVSSOKDSS\KHDOWK\-lies in ones stomach) in ones stomach->
vaporized into ones brain-> trance-> transfers power to others by touch= enabling sickness
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