Chapter 6: Teaching about political violence
Restricted access

This chapter on political violence takes a broad view of violence in its different modalities. Violence is embedded in political structures and forms of domination but there is a wide spectrum of views as to what it is. Often understood as direct physical harm, violence can also be structural, symbolic and epistemic. How are these modalities of violence connected? This chapter emphasises the importance of teasing out competing conceptions of violence in teaching to problematise many of the assumptions students bring to modules on violence. Many assume that violence involves direct physical harm and possibly also psychological harms but questions of structural and symbolic violence open different ways of thinking about the issue. They open questions for discussion as to the analytical merits of narrow or broader definitions. Once we concede though that structures can in themselves embed violence with real effects on people's life chances, then there is the question of the ways in which interpersonal and collective violence are connected to states and structures. Exploring gendered violence is an example of the intersections of structures and actions in that it is, like other forms of violence situated action but also deploys and instantiates multiple structures and cultural legitimations of the gender, social class race and the state.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account