Structural Violence in the 1960s
Structural violence is invisible in the fact that people will not realize that it is there, even though it could be happening right around them. “Structural violence refers to systematic ways in which social structures harm or otherwise disadvantage individuals” (winter). Direct violence differs from structural violence because it brings peoples attention toward its brutality in which cases they are more likely to respond. Structural violence is and can be horrific as well as brutal, but it will go unnoticed. Some structural inequities will last for a long time, and over that period of time the violence will start to become normal. They go on with their lives thinking that the way they are being treated is something that they have to get used to and that there is nothing they can do about it. The reason that structural violence occurs is “whenever people are disadvantaged by political, legal, economic or cultural traditions” (winter). Structured inequities can have the same outcome as direct violence; the only difference is that it takes more time for the damage to set in, more likely to happen and repairing the damage will take longer. Structural violence is something that will most likely end up as direct violence and it will be from the ones who are being oppressed and unequally treated. This is exactly what happened in Watts, LA during the 1960’s, when African Americans were being treated unfairly. Even though the civil rights movement changed a lot of things for African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s, inequality and racism was still very prominent. With the Civil Rights Act being passed in 1964, a lot of things changed for some states, but some other states tried to evade this new law and California was one of them. California passed its own law, proposition 14, where they tried to “block the fair housing portion of the Civil Rights Act”(staff). This is how structural violence was started, they separated everyone that they needed to and kept a close watch on the ones who were “nobodies”. The “nobodies” do not get cared about and they get pushed aside and forgotten, and that is what happened to the African Americans; the only difference is that they were not forgotten; the police department made it a point to keep a good eye on them just in case they were not where they were supposed to be. The way structural violence was shown was that African Americans were “subject to unwritten rules” (movie) which kept them from working and living in specific parts of Los Angeles. The chief of the Los Angeles police department, William Parker, was the one who laid down those rules against African-Americans. The police was responsible for making sure that everyone was supposed to be in their right neighborhoods at the right time. Watts was one of the few neighborhoods that African-Americans could live in; “unemployment was high, there was no hospital, and the police force was mostly white”. The Riots that occurred in Watts, LA in 1965 were started because of the blatant mistreatment of African Americans. African Americans as well as many Latinos were not able to acquire jobs because of their ethnicities. They were constantly questioned and accused just because they were of a different race. There was nothing that they could do about how they were being treated, especially since the people who were treating them this way were the policeman. They were not free to go where they pleased, if they tried to go anywhere they were not supposed to go then their intentions might be questioned. The African-Americans needed to know their place and the police where there to show them just in case they forgot. ‘There are barriers, invisible barriers, social barriers. And their job is to re-enforce that barrier”. African-Americans believed that their society is free, and their intentions should not be questioned, they should not be watched. They had a new belief ever since.
Please sign up to read full document.YOU MAY ALSO FIND THESE DOCUMENTS HELPFUL
Introduction The focus of this paper is an overview of different research articles on racism and structuralviolence against the aboriginal. Violence will be looked at from three schools of thoughts namely the structural . conflict and process theories. The views of these different approaches to violence will be critically analyzed, but no value judgments will be placed on any of their perceptions of violence . Racism According to Headley (2000), racism is “the infliction of unequal consideration, motivated by the desire to dominate, based on race alone (p.223). Headley further explains that this definition accommodates the distinction between “true racism” which is the desire to harm or dominate others solely on the basis of race, and “ordinary racism” which he sees as universal features of human biology (p.224). Headley further maintained that a racist is not merely someone who wishes to put down another’s race, but also suppress and assert his/her own superiority through a violent act (p.224). Naiman (2006) defines racism as hostility, aggression, and antagonism toward non-members of a particular group based on their physical characteristics, notably skin colour (p.265). Similarly, Spencer (1998) sees racism as “the transformation of race prejudice and / or ethnocentrism through the exercise of power against a racial group.
2475 Words | 8 Pages
VIOLENCE Today all around the world violence is increasing at a high rate. Every single country around the world is affected by some type of violence whether it is Gun/Gang related, Domestic, Structural . Cultural etc. Anyone can be affected by these types of violence . Gang Violence is violence amongst groups of people known as gangs. This happens in cities and other highly populated areas. Domestic Violence is physical or verbal abuse toward a spouse or family member. StructuralViolence refers to systematic ways in which social structures harm or otherwise disadvantage individuals. Cultural Violence refers to aspects of culture that can be used to justify or legitimize violence . Affects Of Violence Each type of violence affects all types of people in many different ways. Gang violence affects the families of the gangs, who have to suffer with the consequences of their loved one who thinks gang violence is a decent way to live, keeping them from working and contributing to society in a meaningful way. It affects the families of victims from gang related incidents, It affects entire communities, because the sense of peace, security and safety are gone. It affects children who can't go outdoors to play because they of the fear of being shot.
1181 Words | 4 Pages
Jun Fu Ling 3B, M/W 10AM 11/February/2014 Comparative essay Draft #2 Violent role in history In the “Violence Vanquished” with Steven Pinker, Pinker considers that the modern era is the most peaceful time in the history of the human species. All kinds of violence have declined due to the progress of human civilization, government ability to enforcement, development of commerce and the expansion of cosmopolitanism. The author has pulled together data from numerous statistical sources to back up his claim that violence has tended to decline through human history. He then tries to explain this, and overall it's an impressive synthesis. Pinker cites the five examples. The first example talks about 5000 years ago, when humans lived in tribes. Often there will be a war between tribes and tribes, but after the war is unified, the numerous tribes that make up a kingdom, reducing a lot of such violent behaviors. The second example talks about the decline of violence was a civilizing process that is best documented in Europe. Historical records show that in the late Middle Ages and the beginning of the 20th century, European countries saw a 10 to 50 times more likely to lower rates to kill. The third example talks about Humanitarian Revolution, with the occurrence Enlightenment. Judicial widely the abolition of torture. The fourth example talks about The World War. At the end of world war ii, we.
1343 Words | 4 Pages
Nowadays, school violence becomes a serious problem in many countries. Especially in Vietnam, there r more and more SV with more serious consequence. Everybody usually thinks that school is a peaceful place, but now the risk of dangerous is lucking? Our children. So, what should we do to protect our children? First, we have to find out the causes of SV. After that, we can expose some solutions. In short, what I want to talk abs today is cause and solution of SV. Let’s start with some reason why SV happens. Today I’ll share 4 reasons with u. The most important reason is that family. The students who have lack of interest from family tend to use violence to solve problem. Their parents go to all day; they provide them only materials go to all day. In contrast, they pamper / indulge their children so much. They don’t pay attention to their children’s change. Sometimes the students need someone to share their emotion ab life, friend, love… but no one can share with them. They have felt in depression. They can’t do anything to solve their problem, and they will use violence . The second one is not less important. This is school. What I want to talk here is the teacher. Being a teacher, a good eg for students, they must have professional conscience. Nowadays, most of them follow the magic of money, they don’t care ab their student. Sometimes they use violent action to deal w/ student. Dedication, sincere love of the teacher will.
880 Words | 3 Pages
Recently, an increasing number of North American youth are committing violent crimes. Although the consequences of these violent crimes are easily apparent, the causes behind them are often abstract and obscure, making it difficult to pin blame on a single source. Moreover, this deviant behaviour among young people can be attributed to a combination of several generalized factors. Leading contributing factors of youth violence include the media, the influence of family life, widespread abuse of drugs and alcohol, the ease of access to weapons and a lack of strong punishment that exists for juvenile offenders. If this rise in aggressive acts is to be stemmed, the causes youth violence must be determined and analyzed to determine which ones, if any can be affected by change. First, the most obvious and publicized cause explaining youth violence is the inescapable and highly influential exposure of youths to violence in the media, especially violence on television. Young people, most notably children are susceptible to learning violent ideals through their high level of exposure to North American television programming. Parents have come to rely on the use of television as a babysitting service and therefore have increased the influence of television on the fragile, easily manipulated minds of their children. On average, a typical Canadian child will watch about 22 hours of television per week.
2553 Words | 7 Pages
Alyson Taggart Internet Research #1 Due: 10/04/10 Violence in Cartoons Many studies show that violence in cartoons effect children’s behavior. Cartoons such as Toy Story, Scooby Doo, or Tom and Jerry all show children that violence is funny and acceptable behavior. Children are unable to determine the difference between right and wrong, and are very likely to imitate what they see. When a child’s hero such as Batman throws someone through a wall, the child copies what they see because someone they respect does the same thing. Violence in children’s television is believed to cause the child to be more aggressive and violent. Children start to believe that it is okay when they see their superhero use violence to solve problems. According to Diane Levin and Nancy Carlson-Paige, the authors of ‘The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Teachers Voice Concern’, teachers “reported seeing an increase in violence as children imitated what they had seen on the screen”. Children who imitate what they see on television shows may hurt others and themselves by imitating stunts they see their role-models doing on the television. Power Rangers are actors who play the role of everyday teenagers that get rewarded for their violent acts. Teachers and parents reported that “many children say they want to grow up and be a Power Ranger” (Levin and Paige, 2003), not realizing that what they are seeing is.
880 Words | 3 Pages
College English I 29 April 2013 Television Violence Television violence is a big major concern in our world today because it affects our children in so many ways. Television rating codes like PG13, R, and M should all be banned from kids. There are some television content on some action movies and certain cartoons that have a lot of shooting, punching, beating, pounding, and hitting which brings a lot of negatively. Television violence makes kids say violent things in general or not knowing if a word is good or not. An outcome of this is that children can get an aggressive behavior and can be incapable of distinguishing real life and fantasy with the overwhelming violence on television. I think television violence in general should only be shown at night time for adults while the children are asleep. The violence on television causes harmful effects that are grouped into three primary categories which are: children’s learning of aggressive attitudes and behaviors; desensitization, or an increased callousness towards victims of violence ; and increased or exaggerated fear of being victimized by violence . Turn on a television set and pick a channel at random; the odds are better than 50-50 that the program you encounter will contain violent material. To be more precise, 60% of approximately 10,000 programs sampled for the.
1220 Words | 4 Pages
Religion and Violence When most people think of religion they only think of the good aspects that go along with it, and never the violence that goes along with it. All religions have some form of violence in one form or another. There are three basic varieties of religious violence . acts of violence . which are inherently religious; those intended as punishment for people believed to be evil; and violent clashes between religious communities. Christians killed a large quantity of witches during the sixteenth century throughout North America and Europe, this continues in some parts of the world to this day. In some cultures killing a person was one of the most important religious ritual acts. “Religion is capable of bringing out the noblest trait of our shared humanity. It can also, unfortunately, motivate or justify the most depraved.” (Lewis M. Hopfe, Mark R. Woodward, 2009, p.10). Sacrifice, which is one of the most common practices in all of the religions of the world, is another form of religious violence . All throughout history sacrifices have been made to the gods and the spirit world, usually the sacrifices was food, drinks, or animals, but occasionally there would be a human sacrifice. Human sacrifices rarely occurred in Native American religions in the United States and Canada, but they were a very important part of religion to the Aztec and other native people of South and.
1055 Words | 3 Pages
Running Head. Violence
[Institution 's Name]
Structural violence signifies a form of violence which adhere with the methodical ways in which a given social establishment or social composition kills people gradually by forbidding them from getting their vital necessities. Ethnocentrisms. institutionalized superiority. racial discrimination. nationalism. sexism. ageism and heterosexism are few examples of structural violence. When the people are socially subjugated. economically oppressed or politically exploited in result of these life spans are decreased. Structural violence unavoidably brings out difference and
usually direct violence including family violence hate crimes. racial aggression. genocide and terrorism. Structural violence is almost always indiscernible. entrenched in omnipresent social structures. tempered by regular experience and steady institutions
Structured inequities produce suffering and death as often as direct violence does. though the damage is slower. more subtle. more common and more difficult to repair. Globally. poverty is correlated with infant mortality. infectious disease. and shortened life spans. Whenever people are denied access to society 's resources. physical and psychological violence exists (Moore. 1987
Unluckily. including those who are the victims of structural violence themselves often do not notice the systematic ways in which their dilemma is engineered by imbalanced and unjust allocation of society 's resources
Structural violence is tricky and also perilous at the same time as it frequently leads to the direct violence. Those who are continually crushed are usually those who haunt to direct violence. For example cross-national studies of murder have shown a positive correlation between economic inequality and homicide rates across 40 nations. In the U .S. racial inequality in wealth is correlated with murder rates (Colson. 1985
Organized armed difference in various parts of the world is due to the structured inequalities. The structural violence usually results to direct violence as a result the civilians pay huge expenditure of war through destruction and death of systems and localities. In contrast the ruling leaders hardly suffer from the wars as much as civilian do. who undergo decades of poverty and diseases in the war ragged localities The innumerable risk factors as a result of structural violence include family violence. media violence. parental dejection. and weapon accessibility
These s focus on historical processes of state growth in the Venezuelan Amazon Territory and. more particularly. on figurative processes of constructing a philosophy of state power that fabricates the service of military force. extractive financial utilization. and miss ionization as balanced processes of incorporating the Amazon Territory and its outstanding aboriginal residents into the nation state. The major dimensions of state development and philosophy construction are explored (1 ) the ascription of brutal savagery to aboriginal peoples living in b areas and (2 ) the demonstration of aboriginal minorities as non Western "others " whose unfamiliar ways of life are defined as intimidating deviations that must be assimilated as quickly and entirely as possible into the national society
The coeval concepts of incorporation and assimilation. as used in the speeches and press releases of Venezuelan government officials. are not.
Not the Essay You're looking for? Get a custom essay ( only for $12.99 )
Published: 23rd March, 2015 Last Edited: 23rd March, 2015
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Galtung's theory of structural violence. Violence has permeated human society ever since the beginning of time and has been instrumental in the subversion of countless individuals, resulting in multitudes of deaths and suffering. "Violence" exists as a highly debated core branch of knowledge within peace and conflict studies as it has a tendency of being "misrecognised" (Schinkel 2010: 3). Up till today, no single academic discipline has an all encompassing grasp on the complexities of violence (Schinkel 2010: 4). However, Galtung's theory of structural violence stands out, as it seeks to expend the conventional narrow definition of physical or manifestable violence to include violence as a form of "influence", an invisible force which acts to constrain human social conditions (Høivik 1977: 59, Galtung 1999: 2).
This paper will argue that Gultung's theory of structural violence will serve to reach its strongest potential for gaining insight into the complexities of understanding the roots of violence in the context of peace studies when viewed through a triangular approach. Our investigation will begin by analysing "violence" and how it is affiliated to "structural violence". Following that, a comprehensive discussion on Galtung's violence triangle will be presented in order to lead the discussion onto the strengths and weaknesses of Galtung's theory of structural violence. I shall conclude by asserting that Galtung's theory is excessive on a mundane level, but paramount in its contributions towards peace research studies.
Before we commence to critic Gultung's theory of structural violence, a reasonable understanding of "violence" is in order. What is violence? Are we able to define violence? Saint Augustine once noted with a condescending tone "so long as I don't think about it (violence), I know what it is" (citied in Schinkel 2010: 5). This abstract approach attempts to explain the intricacies of violence without essentially mentioning what exactly consist in a "violent" action, begging us to question if violence is only limited in a direct or physical framework. Indeed, social scientists seem to operate under a silent general consent that one does not need to define violence (Schinkel 2010: 17). When a student shoots a teacher in the face, the frankness of reality screams for us to quickly dismiss academic red tape and label the event as "violent". Willem Schinkel notes such a mundane "pre-reflexive apprehension" of violence to be "naively realistic" (2010: 5). If so, how are we to come to an accepted definition of violence? Virginia Held defines violence to be "predictable, coercive, and usually a sudden infliction of injury upon or damage harming persons" (1997: 187). If we accept Held's definition, the hidden "violent" nature of non-physical mental torture and humiliation brought about by a combination of name calling, extortion, stealing and vandalising of personal property, exemplified by a school bully would be cast into doubt.
Once again we are faced with the same question. What is to be considered the accepted definition of violence? In 1994, a group of social scientists initiated a comprehensive survey to analyse violent behaviour carried out by a certain number of post-discharge psychiatric patients, in order to come to some sort of conclusion on how gender differentials influence violence (Teasdale, Silver and Monahan 2006: 649-651). "Violence" within the experiment was then narrowly defined as actions that resulted in "physical injury or involved the use of a weapon, threats made with a weapon in hand, or sexual assaults" (Teasdale, Silver and Monahan 2006: 652). Perhaps, this limited definition adequately fulfilled its purpose, which was essentially a conscious categorisation of different threat responses between man and women. However, under the pretext of conflict resolution, such a narrow definition will certainly not suffice. Thus, we see the limitations of adopting inadequate definitions and accord that the definition of violence can vary depending on its purpose within context.
Within the context of peace studies, structural violence overtly strives to connect the invisible violent "influences" of institutions with social conditions leading to the loss or deprivation of human lives (1999: 29-37). It emphasises its focus on non-manifestable threats such as poverty and unjust social, political and economic structures in comparison to direct threats like knives and guns, while acknowledging both threats to administer similar dire consequences (Köhler and Alcock 1976: 343). It is a "hybrid concept" which recognises the necessities of both theoretical rhetoric and empirical evidence (Høivik 1977: 59). A stronger emphasis is placed on the latter, so much so that if theory disagrees with statistics, theory has to be readjusted to fit the conclusions of research accordingly (Galtung 1999: 11-12). On the other hand, we also have to apprehend and be wary of the "hidden" nature of violence that hinders empirical accumulation (Schinkel 2010: 5). Structural violence views that the agent of death is no longer conventional manifestable objects, but deadly "influences" such as discrimination, exploitation and injustice. John Archer agrees and notes that a combine methodology of both quantitative and qualitative research is imperative for a more rounded understanding into the roots of violence (2003: 26).
The concept of structural violence is essentially useful as it is an attempt to expand the existent spectrum of traditional physical threats into the realm of intangibles which is paramount towards deriving underlying causes of violence. However, structural violence by itself is strictly limited if it does not even recognise immediate visible threats. Therefore, instead of adopting a singular or bilateral approach, Galtung advocates a triangular mode of understanding violence and proposes cultural violence, structural violence and direct violence to be the corners of this unique triangle (1978: 208). It is this distinct triangle that sets "Galtung's theory of structural violence" apart from the other theories of "structural violence". The purpose of the triangular approach is mainly to stress on the multifaceted nature of violence. Under Galtung's perspective, Cultural violence, structural violence and direct violence can all be interlinked into one another to allow for a more complete understanding on the origins of violence in the world (1999: 29-34). This particular approach permits us to analyse patterns of mutual reinforcement or escalation within conflicts and assists us in identifying "corners" where we can break the triangle in order to put a halt to violence as a whole (Galtung 1978: 487-489).
A thorough analysis of Galtung's violence triangle is in order to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Galtung's theory of structural violence. An examination of either cultural violence, structural violence or direct violence separately as singular approaches sets themselves up from the beginning to be easily criticized due to the objective nature of theories (Høivik 1977: 59). If we approach the violence triangle as an entirety, its vastness and multifaceted nature would overwhelm the need for structure. Therefore, so as to investigate the linkages between the three different types of violence, I shall be adopting a more bilateral approach by exploring connections between cultural violence to structural violence and direct violence to structural violence.
Galtung notes "behind all this (violence triangle) is cultural violence" (1999: 2). If we are to view Galtung's perspective of violence as a vertical ladder instead of a triangle, it will begin with cultural violence on the top, structural violence in the middle, followed by direct violence (Galtung 1999: 2). What is cultural violence? Cultural violence are prevailing attitudes and beliefs within culture which we are acquainted with since adolescence in our everyday life that makes direct and structural violence seem right or at least acceptable (Galtung 1990: 291). Under the steady flow of time, cultural violence creeps into our daily lives without our realisation and changes attitudes towards what is thought to be the acceptable usage of violence (Galtung 1990: 292-295). One should note that when we speak of "culture" within cultural violence, we do not refer to entire cultures but to certain "aspects of culture", such as media, religion, ideology, language, art, and empirical science (Galtung 1990: 296-301). Douglas Kellner writes that "Media culture helps shape the prevalent view of the world and its deepest values: it defines what is considered good or bad, positive or negative, moral or evil." (citied in Held 1997: 201). It is not difficult to imagine what harm this "aspect of culture" propagates as a dominating power of "influence" with its constant barrage of materialistic advertisements and violent media which an average individual is exposed to in today's modern society. With respect to the violence triangle, "aspects of culture" can be seen as the legitimizing source for both direct and structural violence (Galtung 1990: 294).
Susan Rakoczy notes that a patriarchal religion such as Christianity breeds cultural violence as it systematically degrades women's dignity and position in society by associating God with a male and by preaching women's inferiority through ancient decrees found in the Bible (2004: 29; Galtung 1999: 40-43). Religion gives males the perception that they have a legitimate role granted by God to discipline women when there is a need for it. However, one should also note that such scenarios are often subjected to the character of the individual and should not be lumped together as a group, giving the false impression that all Christian husbands abuse their wives. This is an excellent example of how an "aspect of culture" legitimizes "influence" and builds institutions like churches, which unintendedly promote structural violence by nurturing patriarchal beliefs which are arguably generally accepted by the public in most Christian societies.
Structural violence can be perceived in the fundamental hierarchy of the church's ladder of office, as seldom females are offered key positions of leadership in the church, even though they are ordained according to their religion (Rakoczy 2004: 33). The aforementioned sexist phenomenon can be directly linked to dominant patriarchal sentiments found in such societies, so much so that such an oppression goes unquestioned due to the effects of "cultural violence". One can even argue that western patriarchal beliefs to a certain extent had an influence in the war in Afghanistan when the media painted Afghanistan's women to be insecure and needed protection by western men, leading to further "direct violence" (Ayotte and Husain 2005: 112).
By now, we should have a familiar grasp with the concept of "direct violence". To reilliterate, it is the visible and physical threat that takes the manifestable form of guns, bombs, knifes, etc which are non-recognisable by strict structural violence conventions. Neoliberal policies as an agent of structural violence have been identified by scholars to be clearly aggravating "direct violence" through its implementation, directly causing the uprise of extreme poverty, unemployment, social stratification, inequality and animosity around the world (Olivera and Furio 2006: 104; Sanchez 2006: 178). The seriousness of the issue is not to be easily dismissed as Gernot Köhler and Norman Alcock noted in 1965, fourteen to eighteen million deaths were attributed to structural violence, while direct violence had a comparatively lower death rate of roughly a million (1976: 350).
Sanchez argues that under a neoliberal system, the systematic exploitation of the middle- and working- class coerces populations to turn to "radical violence" or to what we understand as "direct violence" by provoking strikes and demonstrations which has the potential to turn bloody (2006: 179; Gitelman 1973: 2). Similarly, as social conditions deteriorate, the poor and the young turn to criminal violence through "youth gangs, criminal mafias and drug cartels" to obtain what they need by robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, etc which can be seen as forms of "direct violence" (Sanchez 2006: 179). Structural violence not only exploits, but also incites the manifestation of physical violence by the poor and suffering to be employed as a tool for basic survival (Sanchez 2006: 179-181). However, people do not turn violent just because they are poor, but because they are deprived of basic resources. In other words, Galtung's theory of structural violence guides us a step forward into the realm of social and resource inequality, where the rich have many and the poor have few.
Critics on the strengths of Galtung's theory of structural violence suggest that Galtung's theory sets itself up as too wide of a definition (Schinkel 2010: 39). For an ordinary person, violence is people getting beaten up and being tortured in a physical or visible manner, not the well meaning all-encompassing surreal vision that Galtung has provided us with. Does this entail that Galtung's violence triangle theory is pointless? As we have discussed earlier, I believe the justification lies in how we approach his theory within context. On a mundane level, without any doubt, the practice of Galtung's violence theory would indeed be excessive. However, in relation to peace and conflict studies, Galtung theory of structural violence is an essential stepping stone towards world peace. No longer can future academics investigate "violence" without first considering the hidden "influences" linked by cultural and structural violence that have subtly ingrained itself unto non-suspecting individuals. Inequality caused by social structures is postulated to be the core culprit for "violence" all around the world (Miliband 2005: 39-41). As we have earlier analysed, Galtung's violence triangle strongest contribution is that it opens up debate for further inquiry on to the actual roots of violence.
If social institutions, the perpetuators of structural violence, are pinpointed to be the major source of inequality and hence "violence" in the world, can we do without them? Bill Gates Sr disagrees and notes, "Success is a product of having been born in this country, a place where education and research are subsidised, where there is an orderly market, where the private sector reaps enormous benefits from public investment. For someone to assert that he or she has grown wealthy in America without the benefit of substantial public investment is pure hubris" (cited in Miliband 2005: 44). Nevertheless, there is still a pertinent need for social institutions and the economy to exist, so as to provide society with public safety, resources, education, infrastructure, health and welfare. How are we to negate inequality if social institutions are to stay? Levine argues that inequality stems from the extreme concentration of "power", such as income and resources which are allocated in the hands of the elite few (2003: 127). Therefore, the solution is clear. "Power" has to be redistributed. This is the core concept of Dawn Brancati's book Peace by Design, where she advocates political decentralisation to solve conflict and secession issues around the world (2009: 29-64). Perhaps the best institutional structure is an egalitarian one, whereby employee and employer "power" relations are more democratic.
It is no surprise that Galtung's theory of structural violence contains a few subtle weaknesses. Levine notes that all theories no matter how polished, encompasses innate assumptions and prejudice (2003: 126). The foremost weakness within Galtung's theory is that it is "faceless". By "faceless", I mean that the theory does not recognise individual human characteristics but carelessly categorises society into such as "the poor", "the rich", "the haves" and "the have-nots". It is common understanding to acknowledge that if we place several people under similar circumstances, each individual will react differently. The same logic of inconsistency applies when we analyse violence. One of the core attributes of structural violence is its unique ability to recognise violent "influences" such as stress. However, Galtung's violence triangle theory does not take into account how different individuals would respond to different stress levels (Linskey, Bachman and Straus 1995: 4-5). Would the individual manifest direct violence towards others, such as rape, homicide, interfamily assault or turn aggression inwards to acts of suicide, smoking and the abuse of alcohol? Wilkinson notes that stress in early life like the loss of one's parent, domestic conflict, etc can have dire consequences on the individual's mental and physical health (2005: 185-188). We can envision the concept of humanism spreading its effect, as different characteristics and upbringing of individuals would process stress in varying fashions. This gives the impression that Galtung's structural violence is humanistically idealistic.
Idealised society is arguably in the minds of most peace researchers. It is due to the anticipation and firm belief that the possibility of this utopian view is feasible, that Galtung's theory of structural violence was introduced in the first place (Høivik 1977: 60). However, human beings are too unpredictable, stubborn, impulsive, unreasonable, erratic, etc to fall perfectly into comprehensive theories. Not only is the individual easily swayed by internal emotions such as stress, humans are also influenced by immediate external social scenarios. The circumstance which I am specifically keen on is the "bystander effect", the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim which is not on the forefront of Galtung's violence triangle. Research proves that with greater number of witnesses to an emergency event, the less likely single individuals are to help (Levine 2003: 128). It seems as though with the myriad of irrational social behaviour, we can never be able to predict how human beings would react when exposed to violent "influences", the best cause of action is to minimise "violence" from its roots.
Essay Writing Service
Fully referenced, delivered on time, Essay Writing Service.