Religious Violence and Non Research Proposal

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Violence: Theory and Ethnography and the Literary and Cinematic Iterations of it Theories

Violence is an all-too-present phenomenon of our modern world. It exists in many forms, both fictional and very real, and is nearly impossible to avoid in both the media and in every day life in many parts of the world. Yet for all of its pervasiveness, violence between human beings is not incredibly well understood. In the vast majority of instances where violence occurs between individuals or groups of human beings, there is no life-or-death struggle for resources or procreative rights/abilities as there is in much of the animal kingdom. The most basic impulses that bring other creatures to violence no longer seem to be at work in human society, yet violence persists, and persists in a way that is not as well as understood as would be beneficial for leading to a reduction in world violence.

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Part of the reason that violence is so little understood lies in the fact that there is such a variety both in the circumstances and types of violence that are practiced and in the number of frameworks and perspectives through which violence can be examined. Pamela J. Stewart and Andrew Strathern's Violence: Theory and Ethnography uses several theoretical and ethnographic approaches to study several different specific instances of violence as well as violence n general. The authors come to several conclusions during the course of the book hat help lead to a better understanding of violence -- both the reasons behind it and the way it develops and progresses. The argument that the book makes regarding violence can also be related to other depictions in the popular media.

Summary

Research Proposal on Religious Violence and Non-Violence Assignment

Violence: Theory and Ethnography begins with a description of the ethnic (or quasi-ethnic) genocide and general chaos that existed in Rwanda and Burundi during the latter decades of the twentieth century. The fragmentation unpredictable patterns of violence continued for years, with faction on both sides of the issue instigating fresh outbursts of killing and mayhem seemingly at random (Stewart & Strathern 2002). In the next chapter, the authors introduce a deceptively simple and incredibly insightful framework for viewing violence that incorporates the performer(s) of the violence, the witness (es), and the victim(s) in a triangle, each with their own narrative and explanation for what is occurring, and why it is occurring, using several real-world examples (Stewart & Strathern 2002).

The authors go on to detail other instances of wide-spread ethnographic violence, devoting a large portion of the book to disturbances in Papua New Guinea. There are mythological bases for much of the violence that was practiced in this country, though the mass violence that the modern era has seen is not fully accounted for by these explanations (Stewart & Strathern 2002). They go on to discuss one of the primary motivations for violence today -- revenge. The acts that are perceived to warrant violence as a retaliation vary greatly from country to country, culture to culture, and even individual to individual, but almost every culture has a certain insult to pride or honor that supposedly demands retribution in blood, and this thinking is the source for much of the world's violence.

Purpose and Argument

The purpose of this book is not simply to describe various acts of violence and their theoretical causes, but rather to lead to a better understanding of violence in general so that it might better be diffused or avoided altogether. There does seem to be a natural tendency towards some violence, so the goal of eradicating violence altogether is likely not to be truly achievable, at least not in the foreseeable future. But by describing some of the cultural and intercultural reasons for violence, the authors hope to be able to find certain commonalities that explain the human tendency towards violence in all cultures and in all circumstances. Armed with this understanding, violence as a major social and global problem can be tackled with more effectiveness and more efficiency (Stewart & Strathern 2002).

The essential argument of the book, as is summed up in it conclusion, is that there must be a synthesis of the varying theories regarding the causes for violence to occur and progress. There… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Religious Violence and Non.  (2009, November 16).  Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/religious-violence-non/7505

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"Religious Violence and Non."  Essaytown.com.  November 16, 2009.  Accessed October 26, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/religious-violence-non/7505.