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Lecture 4

Culture-Lecture 4-War and Peace Mar 19 2009


Course Code
Marcel Danesi

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Lecture 4: War & Peace
I. Introduction
x Even though we might share many same ideas- we wont share them all=disagreement
x How to deal with conflict
x 20th century= age of massacres
x Most violent age of time
II. Keeping the Peace
x Conflict Resolution in Small Scale Societies
o Because we can speak and remember- we argue
o How we resolve disagreement has to do with cultural ideas more so than biology
o If you are raised to resolve conflict through violence that is what you will do and vice versa
o Small face to face social groups (20-50 ppl)
o Conflict resolution is quite different in small scale societies
o Goal is to always preserve long term viability of social group
o Resolve conflict- social remains intact
o No one wants to see conflict in the permanent loss of members
o EX 1: Inuit society; Greenland
Living through artic winter in small spaces= occasional disputes
Song duel- resolution
When 2 ppl in conflict-> no understanding w/ each other-> 1 challenge other to
song dual
As each develop song- they would involve family/friends
Moment of song duel, community assemble, ppl participate
Audience decides winner
Whole communities decides in decision
Resolve conflict without violence
Brings community together (good laugh/put differences aside)
o Gossip: talking about each others behaviour, passing judgment
Can be benign
Sharing info
Mechanism of social control
As gossip spreads around, we are trying to decide who is right and who is wrong
If social group thinks that the person is out of line-> someone in gossip network will
break silence
If situation gets out of control many small societies will resort to mediation
Mediator: called into conflict situation, who seeks to find a solution acceptable to all
Mediation: not about single person pronouncing decision- but rather to get both
parties to come to a middle ground/acceptable/resolving disagreement
Not to be confused with arbitration where a third partied comes in and makes final
x Conflict Resolution in States
o Interpersonal conflict handled differently
o Call in various arms of state
o Laws relatives inflexible rather than small face to face groups
o Mediator can make a lot of exceptions/bend/mold rules to suit situation
o EX: 2
Throwing garbage in mutual driveway
o Goal of state when some breaks laws= their job is not actually to resolve conflict but to
o Once someone has been punished-> they are less likely to restore good social relationships
o Main function of state control punishment of crime- not to restore social peace but to tell ppl
who is in charge- intimidate population as whole and reinforce idea that state is in control,
not people
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