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Lecture 5

SOSC 1040 - Lecture 5 Notes.doc

2 Pages

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1040
Claudio Colaguori

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SOSC 1040 Oct 4, 2012 The Question of Violence and Human Nature • How we understand violence is an important: will influence how we justify it, try to deal with it, and hope to stop it. • The taken-for-granted belief in human “instincts” as the basis of human behaviour presents a problem for understanding the social and cultural roots of violence • “Animals are ruled by their instincts and humans are guided by culture” • The ‘animalization of the human’ and social Darwinism • The ‘naturalization of violence’ - an ideology of human behaviour which makes violence natural and inevitable rather than something that is largely socially directed, and is the action of individuals & groups who consciously decide to engage in violence. It also masks the fact that violence is primarily used as a technique of social control, over individuals and over groups. • Freud’s ideas of the ‘death instinct’ – Thanatos, and the ‘life instinct’ – Eros • If we believe that violence is inevitable and normal or naturally programmed in humans then we are less likely to do anything to prevent it Film: The Gods of Our Fathers • the flexibility of human nature – “the way humans behave towards each other depends on circumstances” and on the cultural values and codes that guide the behaviour of specific groups • macrosocial violence results from the political and economic organization of society • The Patriarchal order – all states are born in violence – “every state echoes the first state – violence, hierarchy and militarization still rule the world”
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