Feb 25 reading notes.doc

2 Pages

Peace and Conflict Studies
Course Code
PACS 329
Judah Oudshoorn

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edwards and haslett. violence is not conflict Violence is not ... simply an escalation in conflict. It is categorically different. It is one thing to have a difference of opinion and to argue. It is quite another to attack another physically They suggest that it is crucial to distinguish violence from conflict, and that doing so will enable restorative justice practitioners, participants, and communities to create and engage in safer and more informative restorative justice processes that more effectively assist people in the aftermath of physical violence. We further recognize from our casework that, just as it is the case that conflict can exist without any violence occurring, violence can exist without the presence of conflict These definitions also stress conflict's fundamental interactivity:4 conflict involves the active participation of two or more disputants, both or all of whom share some responsibility for the creation and continuation of a conflict. Violence lacks this interactive dimension, even when two people are being violent toward each other. Much of the research and theory that undergirds our work sees violence as unidirectional;' the violent act is committed unilaterally by one person against the will and well-being of another Conflicts can, of course, be very difficult, complex, and accompanied by a range of powerful emotions and impacts. Conflicts can also be the start of healthy opportunities to discover difference and diversity, grow in our understanding of the world, and be used as catalysts for new and creative ways of thinking. In fact, one could argue that they are essential to a thriving democracy. Violence does not offer these opportunities why these blurred lines between the definitions. cultural factors. the cases where violence comes after conflict. For the person who has committed the violence, their focus has often been on having the facilitators understand, in detail, their position in the conflict, or how the other person was behaving in a way that was unfair or unreasonable. For the person who has experienced the violence, we hear much more about the fear, shame, pain, and/or how the event(s) have altered the way that they think or behave Treating violence as if it is conflict may also be an example of what is termed "hygienic positioning."" "Violence" can seem daunting and uncomfortable to deal with when compared to "disagreements" or "misunderstandings." Most of us find violence disturbing and, the closer our proximity to violence, the less comfortable we tend to become. Hygienic positioning is one response to this discomfort and involves "keeping oneself at a distance, physically and psychologically, from the violence and its victims, for example, by using disparaging terms for the victims or euphemisms for the violence."2 As this is a common behavioural response to violence, restorative justice practitioners are as likely to experience it as anyone else. When practitioners exhibit this behaviour, however, there are costs to both victims and offenders.'3 When practitioners engage in hygienic positioning, several important changes will likely occur in the restorative justice process. When too uncomfortable to facilitate focused dialogue about violence, practitioners may decide to recast violence as "the disagreement" or "a communication problem. This avoidance bears considerable resemblance to the kind of minimizing that offenders are often dep
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