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Deconstructing Violence

Deconstructing Violence Introduction Power, Force, and Social Transformation by Ronaldo Munck “Especially for the ‘civilised’ person, violence is not a pretty subject. It is ugly enough to make the most cheerful thinker pessimistic,” says John Keane (2004: 7). This may indeed be the case, but if anything it increases the urgency of a theoretical, political, and moral deconstruction of violence in the contem- porary world. This collection of essays addresses the various forms or modal- ities of violence and the various means of dealing with or moving beyond it. It also pays particular attention to the complex relationship among sex, gender, and violence. In this introduction I seek to situate the various contri- butions in the broader context of critical debates on violence. We need to move beyond paralysis or “shock and awe” in the face of overpowering shows of force to construct a transformative understanding of the role of violence in contemporary society. SCALES OF VIOLENCE We may begin with a scene on the ground in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004 (Abdul- Ahad, 2004): They can’t see what they are shooting at but shout Allahu-Akbar all the same, and everyone starts giving numbers of how many Americans they have killed. Then http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Latin American Perspectives: A Journal on Capitalism and Socialism SAGE

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References (44)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0094-582X
eISSN
1552-678X
DOI
10.1177/0094582X08321952
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Introduction Power, Force, and Social Transformation by Ronaldo Munck “Especially for the ‘civilised’ person, violence is not a pretty subject. It is ugly enough to make the most cheerful thinker pessimistic,” says John Keane (2004: 7). This may indeed be the case, but if anything it increases the urgency of a theoretical, political, and moral deconstruction of violence in the contem- porary world. This collection of essays addresses the various forms or modal- ities of violence and the various means of dealing with or moving beyond it. It also pays particular attention to the complex relationship among sex, gender, and violence. In this introduction I seek to situate the various contri- butions in the broader context of critical debates on violence. We need to move beyond paralysis or “shock and awe” in the face of overpowering shows of force to construct a transformative understanding of the role of violence in contemporary society. SCALES OF VIOLENCE We may begin with a scene on the ground in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004 (Abdul- Ahad, 2004): They can’t see what they are shooting at but shout Allahu-Akbar all the same, and everyone starts giving numbers of how many Americans they have killed. Then

Journal

Latin American Perspectives: A Journal on Capitalism and SocialismSAGE

Published: Sep 1, 2008

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