Problem

Structural violence


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Dependence on structural violence
Institutional violence
Institutionalized covert himsa
Structural injustice
Nature:
Societies are structured in ways that deny adequate standards of living and access to vital social services to the less privileged. Where institutions such as business, government, schools and prisons violate the personhood of society's members this is a form of violence (or, using Jain terms, covert himsa). Poor housing, racial discrimination, unemployment, disenfranchisement and repressive education are thus structural forms of violence. An example is medical care, for which key indices such as disease and early death rates per thousand are markedly disparate between the poorest and the richest.
Claim:
Personal violence for the amateur is dominance, structural violence is the tool of the professional. The amateur who wants to dominate uses guns, the professional uses social structure. The legal criminality of the social system and its institutions, of government, and of individuals at the interpersonal level is tacit violence. Structural violence is a structure of exploitation and social injustice. It seems to survive very well the changes from a slave society, via a feudal and capitalist order, to lodge in a socialist society.

Structural violence between countries is seen, for example, in the EEC/EU, where there are colonial-type trade relations, elitist networks, highly varied bilateral interaction rates observed between hierarchically conscious states, and a process of recognizing some states as having a 'second class berth'in the EEC/EU 'vehicle'. There are no statistics to illustrate the incidence of violence by consent - those products resulting from the social structure called apathy, ignorance, misinformation and resentment which allow for few opportunities to improve wages, working conditions, nutrition, living conditions and housing, and literacy and education. This is the violence all nations show to their underprivileged classes.

Aggravates:
Human suffering
Problem Type:
A: Abstract Fundamental Problems
Date of last update
21.09.1998 – 00:00 CEST