Anthropology | Conflict and Violence
P399 | 22354 | Alt
People have long engaged in violent acts against each other. Violence
is perpetrated by individuals, groups, and nations. Anthropologists
have long suspected that violence and warfare may have played a major
role in shaping past and present societies. Some even suspect that
complex societies developed because of violence. Violence has also
been considered motivation for technological advances. But then
again, violence and warfare can act as restraints, hampering
societies. How then, does the presence, or even the threat of
violence, or war, have an effect on people and societies?
In this course we will examine first, how we can identify violence,
and warfare in past. Second, we will explore how violence affected
societies around the world and through time. When is violence used as
a political tool? When is violence a defensive response? How do people
manipulate or dominate others through violence? What changes in
societies that are threatened by violence, either from internal, or
external sources? What is the difference between violence, and
warfare? These are questions that will be explored through readings,
illustrated lectures, and film. Since this course concerns violent
encounters between people, we will at times deal with graphic, and
unpleasant subject matter.
Evaluation will be based on class participation, two exams, and a
short term paper.