Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology

Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology

Paperback Blackwell Readers in Anthropology

Edited by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Edited by Philippe I. Bourgois

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  • Publisher: BLACKWELL PUBLISHERS
  • Format: Paperback | 512 pages
  • Dimensions: 170mm x 246mm x 33mm | 930g
  • Publication date: 14 November 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0631223495
  • ISBN 13: 9780631223498
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 198,218

Product description

From Hannah Arendt's 'banality of evil' to Joseph Conrad's 'fascination of the abomination', humankind has struggled to make sense of human-upon-human violence. Edited by two of anthropology's most passionate voices on this subject, "Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology" is the only book of its kind available: a single volume exploration of social, literary, and philosophical theories of violence. It brings together a sweeping collection of readings, drawn from a remarkable range of sources, that look at various conceptions and modes of violence.The book juxtaposes the routine violence of everyday life against the sudden outcropping of extraordinary violence such as the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the state violence of Argentina's Dirty War, and organized criminal violence. It is edited by two of the most prominent researchers in the field. It also offers a thought-provoking tool for students and thinkers from all walks of life: an exploration of violence at the broadest levels: personal, social, and political.

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Author information

Nancy Scheper-Hughes is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley where she also directs doctoral studies in "Medicine, Science and the Body". As a critical anthropologist and outspoken public intellectual, Scheper-Hughes's lifework concerns the violence of everyday life from analyses of madness among "leftover" bachelors farmers in rural Ireland; the madness of hunger and the experience of mothering in Northeast Brazil; AIDS and sexual citizenship in Cuba, Brazil and the United States; violence, 'truth' and justice in the New South Africa; death squads, democracy, and the execution of Brazilian street children, to the global traffic in human organs. She is best known for her ethnographies, Death Without Weeping (l992) and Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics (l979, new, updated edition 2000). She has been the recipient of many awards and prizes including a Guggenheim, the Staley Prize, the Margaret Mead Award, the Wellcome Medal, the Bryce Wood Book Award, the Harry Chapin Media Award, and the Pietre Prize.Philippe Bourgois is Professor and Chair of the Medical Anthropology Program at the University of California, San Francisco. His most recent book, In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio (1995) was awarded the C. Wright Mills Prize and the Margaret Mead Prize. He has conducted fieldwork in Central America on political violence, ethnic conflict, immigration and labor relations, and street children and has published several dozen academic and popular media articles on political and intimate violence as well as on substance abuse, inner-city poverty and ethnic conflict.

Review quote

"This comprehensive anthology is a must read. Recognizing and understanding the continuum of violence is a critical step in meaningfully addressing the fact that violence is not specific, for example, to war, but intimately woven throughout the fabric of society." Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997) "This remarkable work explores the sources and surfaces of violence -- public, private, political, symbolic, psychic. Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois transform our most fundamental understanding of what it means to be a victim, an agent, or a witness. In these times of war and violence, this book has a resonance that echoes from the classroom to the state house and the street." Homi K. Bhabha, Rothenberg Professor of Literature, Harvard University "Violence in War and Peace brings together among the most profound empirical and philosophical texts on modern violence. Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois have created a volume that challenges fundamental issues concerning the crisis of humanity that violence exposes. This critical and politically responsible book should be read by students and researchers alike."Bruce Kapferer, University of Bergen and James Cook University "It showcases the great relevance of ethnographic research and writing--compared to other approaches--for thinking about violence and suffering. This collection will be an invaluable resource for teachers and learners, a comprehensive anthology for introductory classes, or a companion volume for more in-depth seminars ... the reader will find some of the best attempts of the best of the last century to translate pain, uncertainty, and absurdity of violence into an at least somewhat understandable format." Anthropological Quarterly

Back cover copy

From Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil" to Joseph Conrad's "fascination of the abomination," humankind has struggled to make sense of human-upon-human violence. "Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology" is the only book of its kind available: a single volume exploration of social, literary, and philosophical theories of violence. Edited by two of anthropology's most passionate voices on this subject, "Violence in War and Peace "is a sweeping collection that looks at various concepts and modes of violence. Drawing from a remarkable range of sources, the editors juxtapose the routine violence of everyday life---what scholars Taussig and Benjamin have termed "terror as usual"---against the sudden outcropping of unexpected, extraordinary violence such as the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the state violence of Argentina's "Dirty War," revolution, vigilante "justice," and organized criminal violence. Despite the impulse to distance ourselves from such acts, Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois take care to remind us that concepts of violence and aggression have often failed to acknowledge symbolic and structural forms. Yet, the most violent acts often involve conduct that is socially permitted---even encouraged---rather than condemned as deviant. In "Violence in War and Peace," the editors offer a thought-provoking tool for students and thinkers from all walks of life: an exploration of violence at the broadest levels: personal, social, and political.

Table of contents

Introduction: Making Sense of Violence. Part I: Conquest and Colonialism. Part II: The Holocaust. Part III: The Politics of Communal Violence. Part IV: Why do People Kill?. Part V: The State Amok: State Violence and Dirty Wars. Part VI: Violence and Political Resistance. Part VII: Peace Time Crimes: Everyday Violence. Part VIII: Gendered Violence. Part IX: Torture. Part X: Witnessing/Writing Violence. Part XI: Aftermaths. Index