On Violence as a Social Construct: An Experimental Design

Lukas Holschuh, University of East Anglia

Full paper: www.kon.org/urc/v13/holschuh.html

Abstract: This paper reviews theories on violence to establish whether there may be cultures that are more violent than others. Violence is examined out of a socio-psychological perspective. According to the four different levels of analysis in social psychology (Doise, 1980), an experimental design is proposed that accounts for the different theories presented. It is argued that violence is a social construct rooted in the potential for violence in the structure and culture of a society. The concept of violence is broken down into three different categories as defined by Galtung (1990): cultural violence, structural violence, and direct violence. Different theories on violence and aggression are presented. Direct violence is conceptualised as the reflection of the psyche of a society in the minds of men, of its cultural belief systems and structural integrity.

Read the full paper: www.kon.org/urc/v13/holschuh.html