Critically analysing the causes and prevalence of a type of violence in its cultural, social and political context
Cultures of Violence
Students are required to write a scholarly essay critically analysing the causes and prevalence of a type of violence in its cultural, social and political context, and to consider efforts to prevent or find alternatives to such violence.
The type of violence chosen could be one that was covered in one of the class themes during the course, or one that might not have been covered (such as torture, riots, violence in sports, violence against LGBTIQ communities, etc). Students can choose to focus on one historical or contemporary case study
(such as the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda or gang violence in South Africa) or refer to examples of how that type of violence has manifested in different contexts over time and place (e.g. comparing the use of rape in different wars). As indicated in the assessment criteria, students are expected to apply
relevant theories and explanations for the violence, and to engage in discussion about how that violence has been addressed – or could be addressed – in order to prevent its occurrence or reduce its effects (such as the introduction of legislation, social sanctions or criminal prosecutions) or to promote alternatives to violence (such as social movements or nonviolence strategies).
Criteria for assessment:
1. evidence of research and understanding of the nature and context of the type of violence chosen for analysis;
2. ability to identify and apply relevant theories and reflect on psychological, cultural, social, political and/or legal factors that help to explain the prevalence and attitudes towards violence in that context;
3. discussion of methods or approaches that have been used – or could be used – in that context to prevent or reduce the effects of violence, or otherwise promote alternatives to such violence;
4. ability to express ideas clearly and intelligently;
5. ability to develop and present a coherent argument within the required word limit (essays exceeding the word limit will be penalised); and
6. evidence of reflective and critical wider reading and research, with full reference list of sources.
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