Structural Violence The Unseen Violence Essay

874 words - 3 pages

The term violence brings to memory an image of physical or emotional assault on a person. In most circumstances, the person affected due to violence is aware that a violent action has been performed on that person. There is another form of violence where the affected individual, in most cases are unaware of the violence inflicted upon them. These types of violence are termed as structural violence. Structural violence is a form of invisible violence setup by a well-defined system, to limit an individual’s development to his full potential, by using legal, political, social or cultural traditions (Winter and Leighton, 1).
The term structural violence was originally phrased by Johan Galtung, to highlight all the disadvantages faced by humans due to economic and political structures (Winter and Leighton, 1). Human beings lives within the boundaries of accepted norms, setup by society. Sometimes the society lays out the structure for living, in such a way that it hinders the person from growing to their full ability. This form of hindrances which stops the person from fully utilizing his potential due to intentional layout of a system or structure, by the society, can correctly be termed as structural violence. The authors of the article Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine explicitly brings out the meaning of the term structural violence. They specify that in a social setting “the arrangements are structural because they are embedded in the political and economic organization of our social world; they are violent because they cause injury to people” (Farmer et al. 1). The system in order to restrain an individual will use legal framework, political ideology or social and cultural traditions.
According to 2006 PLoS medical journal on the study of ethno graphics in context of migrants in USA, structural racism and anti-immigration policies have led to poorer health and living conditions. The research clearly shows how ethnicity and citizenship status is directly tied to an individual’s health status and health care experiences (Holmes, 1787-88). We know that immigration to USA is regulated by law. The political hierarchy has framed the legal law in such a way that immigrants do not enjoy the same privileges as citizens. The apparent differences between people who are citizens and non-citizens is so inherent, that the disadvantaged non-citizens accept it with little outlet for protest. Since it is the law of the land, non-citizens willingly accepts the structural violence inflicted upon them due to immigration related issues. In recent months we have seen political unrest in Tunisia, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. In each of these countries the political leadership had amassed immense power and was using these powers to restrain and limit their countrymen from...

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