Violence and Nonviolence: Pathways to Understanding is the first book to provide an integrative, systematic approach to the study of violence and nonviolence in one volume. Eminent scholar and award-winning author Gregg Barak examines virtually all forms of violence—from verbal abuse to genocide—and treats all of these expressions of violence as interpersonal, institutional, and structural occurrences. In the context of recovery and nonviolence, Barak addresses peace and conflict studies, legal rights, social justice, and various nonviolent movements. Employing an interdisciplinary framework, Barak emphasizes the importance of culture, media, sexuality, gender, and social structure in developing a comprehensive theory of these two separate, but inseparable phenomena.

Structural Violence

Structural violence

Structural violence is the most basic or fundamental form of violence. It is expressive of the conditions of society, the structures of social order, and the institutional arrangements of power that reproduce mass violations of personhood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Such violence is accomplished in part through “policies” of informal and formal denial of civil, criminal, and basic human rights for all people. Although institutional and structural forms of violence may work hand in hand with each other, they may also be differentiated. Institutional violence, as illustrated in the cases in Chapter 3, refers to those actions or inactions that “deviate” from prescribed institutional norms and have a negative and differential impact on certain underprivileged groups. By contrast, ...

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