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Symbolische Gewalt und Habitus-Struktur-Konflikte: Entwurf einer Heuristik zur Analyse und Bearbeitung von Konflikten

VerfasserIn:Schmitt, Lars
Herausgebendes Organ:Universität Marburg, Zentrum für Konfliktforschung
Year of Publication: 2006
Place of Publication: Marburg
Language: German
Online Access: SSOAR
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Additional details of publication

Further titles: Symbolic violence and habits structure conflicts: draft heuristics for analyzing and processing conflicts
Publication Type: Monographic, Electronic
"The field of peace and conflict studies is characterized by certain boundaries: In general terms, researchers differentiate between normative and analytical approaches as well as between structuralist, culturalist and actor oriented concepts. These different perspectives are typically indicated by different notions of conflict and violence, thereby often leading to an analytical separation between conflict analysis and conflict resolution. Lars Schmitt's working paper takes this constellation as a starting point to develop a new perspective for the analysis and transformation of conflicts. His analytical heuristic, the so called habitus-structure conflicts, attempts to overcome these oppositions which are considered untenable from an epistemological viewpoint. Based on the socioanalysis of Pierre Bourdieu, this heuristic is presented as a hermeneutic circle indicating the interrelation of social inequality and power relations on the one and conflicts on the other hand. Symbolic violence can be seen here as a functional principle of society: It allows society to reproduce itself by keeping conflicts at a latent level. Depending on their respective group affiliation, the chances of individuals at securing decent standards of living are unequally distributed. Yet this inequality is unlikely to erupt into (direct) violence. This applies for at least two reasons. First, habitus and structure are inherently linked to each other. Individuals internalize inequality at an early stage (habitus); as a result, they tend not to conceive of situations in which inequalities materialize (structure) as illegitimate. Second, the unequal distribution of chances to secure a decent living is mediated by symbols and 'naturalized' during that process. Individuals realize that hierarchies exist; due to the plurality of symbols and the possibility to choose between them, however, they perceive them as naturally given, as based on merit, as just. As a consequence, the social genesis of inequality remains unacknowledged and potential class conflicts are transformed into individualized competitions in social fields, intrapersonal psychic conflicts or violence against scapegoats. The key concept of habitus-structure conflicts is able to frame these different conflicts within a society and to relate them to the underlying symbolic violence. In the conclusion, Lars Schmitt illustrates that uncovering the hidden mechanisms of power may not only lead to emancipatory effects at the individual level, but is also a prerequisite for mediating intercultural conflicts." (author's abstract)
Die Fokussierung auf direkte Gewalt auf der einen Seite und das Festhalten an Johan Galtungs Dreiklang aus direkter, struktureller und kultureller Gewalt auf der anderen Seite wird in aktuellen Selbstreflexionen des Feldes der Friedens- und Konfliktforschung als Phänomen der Generationen ausgewiesen. Hier sind demnach die Gründergenerationen zu finden, die sich durch normatives Denken und einer Orientierung an einem positiven Friedensbegriff - verstanden als Abwesenheit auch von struktureller Gewalt - auszeichnen und durch den Ost-West-Konflikt geprägt sind. Hier sind aber auch die nicht-normativen, analytischen, am direkten Gewaltbegriff orientierten jüngeren Generationen anzusiedeln. Hinter dieser Generationendebatte verbirgt sich nach Meinung des Autors jedoch das Phänomen, dass es sich um für die Friedens- und Konfliktforschung nicht ganz unübliche und erkenntnistheoretisch fragwürdige Gegenüberstellungen handelt. Diese Scheinoppositionen von Emanzipation und Analyse sowie von Akteuren, Struktur und Kultur sorgen dann nicht nur für "Generationenklüfte", sondern auch für eine mangelnde konzeptionelle Integration von Konfliktanalyse und -bearbeitung. Das vorliegende Arbeitspapier versucht vor diesem Hintergrund einen heuristisch-analytischen Rahmen für die Friedens- und Konfliktforschung zu skizzieren, der über Johan Galtung hinausgeht und auf die Sozioanalyse Pierre Bourdieus zurückgreift. (ICI2)