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How Violence Affects Society

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Compare the social, political, and economic characteristics of societies that either inhibit or promote collective violence. How does violence affect society? Give specific examples.

Collective violence is almost an inevitable part of every society. It exists in different forms such as conflicts between nations, groups, group terrorism, and gang warfare. Everyday, thousands of people fall victims to these different forms of collective violence. Collective violence is defined as use of violence by people who associate themselves as members of a group against another group, in order to achieve political, economic or social objectives. Social, political and economic characteristics of a society play an important role in creating societies that inhibit or promote collective violence.

The reasons for violent conflict are usually the result of the tensions between political, economic or social groups. Political characteristics play an important role in influencing violent conflicts. It includes a lack of democratic government and imbalanced access to political power. A political structure where political power is determined from ethnic or religious identity poses more threat of collective violence. This form of political system is more likely to inhibit collective violence because of the dictator leadership that is ignorant of human rights. Social structure also play critical role in determining the societies that are more likely to experience collective violence. Societies with social inequality, marked by uneven distribution of resources are likely to experience violent conflicts. Conflicts are more likely to arise where economy is in bad conditions, thus creating social inequalities and intensifying competition for resources. Economic factor is another crucial characteristic that can lead to collective violence. An economic system, where a one group may have control of more economic resources is more likely to face collective violence. The balance of control over economic resources is directly related to the capacity of a society to provide essential services and job opportunities. Groups with less control of economic resources are likely to engage in violent conflicts with the group that control economic resources.

Iraq is one of the good examples for a society that is continuously experiencing enormous amount of collective violence due to its political and economic characteristics. Saddam's dictatorship was seen as infringement of basic human rights by world organizations and other countries. An example that everyone used to show the cruelty of the Saddam government was the Kurdish genocide. Saddam and other senior members of the government such as chemical Ali launched chemical weapons attacks that



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