How a life-valued versus money-valued dichotomy makes a world of money-valued indifference to peace, and how the cognitive maps of Carl Jung, Johan Galtung and John McMurtry make a world of life-valued difference to healing that indifference! Have we collectively inherited a money-valued as opposed to a life-valued collective unconscious? Does money-value enable cultural violence… Read More
In a previous post entitled Embracing the paradigm shift – from the principalities of darkness to the principles that value life, I opined: “Unless we come face to face and heart to heart with the demons within and be able to verbalise that which is repressed within and projected onto others without, the vicious cylce of… Read More
© Journal of Peace Research. vol. 27. no. 3. 1990. pp. 291-305
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii, Manoa
This article introduces a concept of ‘cultural violence’, and can be seen as a follow-up of the author’s introduction of the concept of ‘structural violence’ over 20 years ago (Galtung. 1969). Cultural violence is defined here as any aspect of a culture that can be used to legitimize violence in its direct or structural form. Symbolic violence built into a culture does not kill or maim like direct violence or the violence built into the structure. However, it is used to legitimize either or both, as for instance in the theory of a Herrenvolk, or a superior race. The relations between direct, structural and cultural violence are explored, using a violence triangle and a violence strata image, with various types of casual flows. Examples of cultural violence are indicated, using a division of culture into religion and ideology, art and language, and empirical and formal science. The theory of cultural violence is then related to two basic points in Gandhism, the doctrines of unity of life and of unity of means and ends. Finally, the inclusion of culture as a major focus of peace research is seen not only as deepening the quest for peace, but also as a possible contribution to the as yet non-existent general discipline of ‘culturology’.
*Presented as a lecture at the University of Melbourne Peace Studies Group, March 1989; at the summer Schools in Peace Studies at the University of Oslo and the University of Hawaii, July 1989; and at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, August 1989. I am indebted to discussants at all these places.