“Violence is not part of our culture:” Ruminations about violence, culture and gender
This paper is an excavation of some of the major theories about violence, gender, and culture: mostly from anthropology but also philosophy, sociology and feminist studies. Many are still taught in universities; some have moved into development circles and/or entered the mainstream; some undergird the logic for commonly-used phrases; and all provide the context in which more recent theories have emerged. Highlighting assumptions within them opens up the possibility of exploring why communities, development experts, and academics often seem to be talking past each other; in this case with regard to the relationship between culture and gender violence. An excavation like this allows for an assessment of the stakes involved when using the language from particular theories.
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