Violence and War

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Violence and War
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2015-05-09 10:25:40
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Violence and War
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  1. Violence def and debate
    • behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt/damage/kill
    • violence as an expression of culture or is it something innate in human nature?
  2. Riches - triangle of violence
    • 3 perspectives - the performer, victim and witness
    • definition of "violence" depends on the perspective taken
    • subjective
    • impact legitimacy
    • eg miners strikes - riots violent, but structural violence
  3. Daly and Wilson - universal explanations
    • violence as an evolutionary adaption
    • scientific model
    • result of natural selection/competition
    • attributes human behaviour to a matter of self interest - appetites/aversions
  4. Daly and Wilson stats
    • homicide stats show common trends within all socieites
    • intensity of conflict adjusted in relation to kinship cues
    • eg most important risk factor in child homicide is presence of step parent
  5. Daly and Wilson - explaining male violence
    • not a pathology but an adaption
    • promotes "fitness" - way to replicate success of bearers genes in environment

    concluded since pattern found across all societies it must be inate in human psychology
  6. critiques of sociobiology/evolutionary approaches
    • generic - tell us little about experiences and meanings of violence
    • statistics do not explain
    • project Western assumptions onto research methods
    • further, ignore political and economic factors that affect violence
  7. Howell ethnography
    • Chewong culture, Malaysia
    • so called "peaceful" society where cultural value is placed on shyness, fearfulness and non-aggression
    • to be angry is seen as not being human
    • no cultural legitimacy given to violent acts
    • so violence rare
    • not an intrinsic part of nature
  8. (after Chewong) labelling a society as "peaceful" or "violent" is problematic
    • violence and peace are part of dynamic processes
    • historically contingent
    • remain resistant to diagnostic labels
    • acts of violence are related to specific social contexts that change over time (WW2 Germany)
    • absence of war doesn't constitute peace
    • prevalence of structural violence in times of peace
    • all societies constantly changing (fluid, not static)
  9. structural violence def - political economy approaches to violence
    • some social structure or social institution may harm people
    • preventing them from meeting their basic needs
    • argues no violence is "natural" but always "cultural" 
    • result of social marginalisation
  10. Bourgois "In Search of Respect"
    • Puerto Rican crack dealers in NYC 
    • explores how social marginalisations leads to interpersonal conflicts and violence in every day life
    • "US inner city apartheid" - race relations
    • urban poor commit violent acts against each other rather than challenge the institutionalised inequalities that oppress them
    • male violence - survival strategy, intimidation receive respect
    • a refusal to accept the marginalisation imposed by mainstream society

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