Towards a Phenomenology of Violence

Simon Hallsworth, London Guildhall University

Through bracketing explanations which relate violence to a matter of existential choice or which consider it an expression of other prior determining causes, this paper explores violence through an examination of its phenomenology. By methodologically conceding to violence a sui-generic existence the paper will consider violence a language which, whilst admitting of syntactical variation, is characterised by a deep grammar whose paper will suggest that, far from seeing in violence something we, as humans, make, it is perhaps more accurate to consider it as something that makes the world and us in its own particular image. The paper will conclude by examining the implications of this conception both for the way we conceive of violence in its relation to culture and to masculinity.

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Updated 05/20/2006