Structural Violence

Structural violence, the concept of macro, system-level inequality and oppression, finds its root in the modernist discourse through the work of Johan Galtung, a Norwegian sociologist, mathematician, and peace studies scholar. Galtung (1969) defined structural violence as violence for which “there is no such [personal or direct] actor” (p. 170). Galtung distinguishes between violence created by a known person as direct, and that which occurs at the structural level when no distinct perpetuator can be established. A few years after publishing his initial works on structural violence, Galtung and Tord Höivik (1971) extended their analysis and sought to develop a formulaic representation of violence’s operationalization. The authors created a typology of violence, and differentiate between “violence that kills slowly and violence that kills quickly, violence ...

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