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Cultured ViolenceNarrative, Social Suffering, and Engendering Human Rights in Contemporary South Africa$
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Rosemary Jolly

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312137

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315244

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Introduction: Testifying in and to Cultures of Spectacular Violence

Introduction: Testifying in and to Cultures of Spectacular Violence

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: Testifying in and to Cultures of Spectacular Violence
Source:
Cultured Violence
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846315244.002

This book examines cultured violence in South Africa and the failure of the constitutional provisions to protect human rights in the country. It looks at narratives that implicitly depict non-human animals, children and adolescents, women, racial others, and persons infected and/or affected by HIV as marginal or non-subjects or as targets of entrenched and allowable violence. The book juxtaposes different kinds of narratives, namely, personal narratives (interviews conducted by the author over the past ten years in South Africa), creative narratives (such as the work of Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee), and narratives that are considered testimony (such as that of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission). Based on these, it explores the operations of cultured violence by analysing how Pierre Bourdieu's concept of symbolic violence relates to the ways in which violence has been spectacularly represented. The book also considers the processes of what it calls deaf listening in order to understand the strange suffering of victim-survivors.

Keywords:   South Africa, cultured violence, human rights, narratives, testimony, HIV, suffering, J. M. Coetzee, deaf listening, victim-survivors

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