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Structural Violence the Unseen Violence Essay

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The term violence brings to memory an image of physical or emotional assault on a person. In most circumstances, the person affected due to violence is aware that a violent action has been performed on that person. There is another form of violence where the affected individual, in most cases are unaware of the violence inflicted upon them. These types of violence are termed as structural violence. Structural violence is a form of invisible violence setup by a well-defined system, to limit an individual’s development to his full potential, by using legal, political, social or cultural traditions (Winter and Leighton, 1).
The term structural violence was originally phrased by Johan Galtung, to highlight all the disadvantages faced by humans due to economic and political structures (Winter and Leighton, 1). Human beings lives within the boundaries of accepted norms, setup by society. Sometimes the society lays out the structure for living, in such a way that it hinders the person from growing to their full ability. This form of hindrances which stops the person from fully utilizing his potential due to intentional layout of a system or structure, by the society, can correctly be termed as structural violence. The authors of the article Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine explicitly brings out the meaning of the term structural violence. They specify that in a social setting “the arrangements are structural because they are embedded in the political and economic organization of our social world; they are violent because they cause injury to people” (Farmer et al. 1). The system in order to restrain an individual will use legal framework, political ideology or social and cultural traditions.
According to 2006 PLoS medica...


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...d by enforcing restrictive social and cultural rules. Identifying and acknowledging the fact that certain systems are built to hinder a person’s development will go a long way in curbing the impact of structural violence.



Works Cited

Winter, DuNann Deborah and Dana C. Leighton “Structural violence.” Peace, conflict, and violence: Peace psychology in the 21st century. Ed. D. J. Christie, R. V. Wagner, D. D. Winter , New York: Prentice-Hall, 2001. Print.
Farmer , Paul, Bruce Nizeye, Sara Stulac, Salmaan Keshavjee. “Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine.” PLoS Medicine, 1686-91. October 2006. Print
Holmes, Seth. “An Ethnographic Study of the Social Context of Migrant Health in the United States.” PLoS Medicine, 1776-93. October 2006. Print.
Parsons, Kenneth. “Structural Violence and Power.” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 173–181, print.







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