Topics of structural violence and symbolic violence

This week's readings are comprised of the subject areas of structural assault and symbolic assault. Galtung and Farmer's perspectives on personhood and issue relationship are designed around the idea of the "structural assault". Generally terms, structural assault means sociopolitical inequalities emerge out of the structures. In addition to them, Bourdieu and Bourgois & Schonberg bring new point of view by looking at the question from different perspective with the term "symbolic assault" which means gender inequalities emerges out of the embeddedness of female subordination by male in daily life.

Galtung first discusses the idea of violence in his 1969 article of "Violence, Calmness and Tranquility Research" and displays the relationship and difference between direct/personal/with subject matter and indirect/structural/without subject violence. In his article "Cultural Assault" (Galtung, 1990), it is defined as "any aspect of a culture you can use to legitimize violence in its direct or structural form" (p. 291). In Pierre Bourdieu's article, we examine how symbolic violence affects the gender relations when you are embodied in the daily life habits of a realtor. We may add that culture sometimes play a legitimizing role to reinforce symbolic violence. In my own country, Turkey, there is still the "honor killings" happening in the name of "culture", which actually includes cultural and symbolic assault. It really is a somewhat direct assault but also slightly symbolic for all of those other contemporary society and male-female relations. Galtung's prescription against those types of violence is clear; establish negative (the absence of direct violence) and positive (lack of structural and cultural violence) peace (p. 183).

In his article of "Gender and Symbolic Violence", Pierre Bourdieu talks about violence in an alternative point of view than Galtung and builds relationship between assault and gender. Regarding to him, hegemonic ability and the domination of this electricity on its subjects can be called "symbolic violence". The guy domination over the female can be strengthened by using the concepts, vocabulary, and symbols used in daily life practices. He will not mean to reduce the value of assault, instead, targets the structure of misrecognition through the prominent discourses in a variety of types of socio-cultural domination. Misrecognition is "confirmed" by dominant discourse which is embodied in women's body with "hidden symbols". As he mentions this symbolic violence is almost all of enough time unnoticed-partly unconsciousness- because the "victims" of the violence may well not recognize it, or become silent because of their subordination or they feel daunted against the violence. His prescription is described as "radical change of the cultural conditions of development of the dispositions that lead the dominated to take the point of view of the prominent on the dominating and on themselves. "(p. 342).

Paul Farmer's "personhood" is a lot more related to structural issues. In "On Suffering and Structural Violence", he tries to comprehend the mechanisms which cause cultural makes from poverty to racism to be embodied as individual encounters (p. 281). He argues that what goes on to Acephie and Chouchou - the previous dies because of Assists and the last mentioned dies because of political assault- are two different types of structural assault. He reaches the conclusion that inequality of vitality and its own implications on the poor are due to structural arrangements of dominant forces of the world. "Silence of socioeconomically the indegent" is because of the dominant power relationships and its reflections on UNDER-DEVELOPED countries. Relating to him, what happened to Acephie and Chouchou is discussed as; "these afflictions were not the result of car accident or of push majeure; they were the consequence, direct or indirect, of human agency"(p. 286) He also mentions that when people are suffering because of poverty, their usage of health, food, and shelter are limited for their social position. His prescription is much more related to the "humane" and offers global safeguards. He considers that rather than debating "cultural differences", the communal inequalities should be reduced. The safety measures should focus on reducing global poverty, by so we can break the hyperlink between social violence and "social approval of poverty".

After the discourse on historically reproduced structures of public inequality and the deficiencies of accessing to health care which really is a basic individual right in Third World countries in Farmer's article, we witness similar quarrels in Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg's booklet of Righteous Dopefiend. The creators give us a portrayal of the sufferings of the homeless and heroin addicted community of Edgewater from their own personal participant observations. Generally, the e book is so impressive due to use of photographs, transcripts of noted conversations and the creators' participant observations. The creators screen the daily experiences of these heroin addicted-homeless people and analyze anthropologically those encounters. In the book, we observe how those people undergo but also try to keep hold of life yet another day by involving in burglary, day labor, panhandling and so on.

The reserve is made on the styles of how violence is seen in child years, community of addicted people, in gender relationships, in competition issues, sexuality, electric power inequality, etc. In the booklet, one of the primary arguments is the fact while we enter twenty first century, neoliberalism has produced a strata of abundant people but also a strata of "lumpen" in United States. Those individuals who couldn't adjust themselves in to the changing system are marginalized and subjected to the structural violence and victimized. They may be Edgewater dopefiends now. On web page 320, the creators mentioned that the responsibility of lumpenization is more serious in nonindustrialized societies. They add that there is not only electricity inequality and poverty concern but also poverty has been "punished" which is in fact the expansion of symbolic assault. Writers barrow from Bourdieu's idea of misrecognition and symbolic assault (Bourdieu 2000) and apply it to Foucault's electricity/knowledge relationship. Corresponding to them, "policy debates and interventions often mystify large scale structural electric power vectors and unwittingly reassign blame to the powerless because of their individual failures and moral personality deficiencies. " (p. 297). Here we see that, the heroin addicted-homeless folks of Edgewater, Sanfransico, aren't only excluded from the whole sociable network and locked up to their own communal network but also blamed to them for their inability. Although the booklet criticizes so a lot of healthcare system and the role of structural forces on the hurting of those people, I really believe I would be pleased to read ethical considerations of the creators during their research.

In final result, this week's reading were so impressive and must be thought on more. Moreover, I believe what they are theorizing must be put into practice and the understanding on structural, cultural and symbolic assault must be increased with policy tips. Or the project/practice areas should be established and put in place by the field experts.

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