The Continuum of Violence

Cynthia Cockburn

in Sites of Violence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780520230729
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937055 | DOI:
The Continuum of Violence

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This chapter suggests that a gender perspective on the successive moments in the flux of peace and war is not an optional extra but a stark necessity. It shows what some of features of conflict and conflict resolution are and describes relations between them that suggest a continuum of violence. Gender power is seen to shape the dynamics of every site of human interaction, from the household to the international arena. A gender analysis reveals imbalanced sex distributions. The economic distress, militarization, and divisive shifts in ideology are considered. It then explores the three manifestly gendered elements of war: mobilization into the armed forces; the catastrophic disruption of everyday life; and brutalization of the body. The three aspects of postconflict situations are explored: displacement; economic and social reconstruction; and aid, justice, and reconciliation. The power imbalance of gender relations in most societies generates cultures of masculinity prone to violence.

Keywords: violence; gender power; war; sex distributions; economic distress; militarization; power imbalance; brutalization; justice

Chapter.  9173 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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