Publication Date

2010

Degree Name

MA in Conflict Management

First Advisor

John Ungerleider

Abstract

The Peruvian population suffers greatly from high levels of domestic abuse in all regions of the country. These numbers are notably higher than both the international average and the numbers found in neighboring countries, leading to the question: what are the driving factors behind domestic violence in Peru—specifically which cultural and social structures enable this cycle to continue? This information would allow those same structures to be used as the starting-point for legislation and social movements to change this culture of abuse.

This study addresses that question through research done over the course of six months, both through observations and interviews, based on an ethnographic investigation. These interviewees consisted of professionals working in the fields of medicine and social work. Using Galtung’s theories on violence and other theoretical work on culture in Peru, the reasons behind the high incidence of violence in Peru were explored. Education (or lack there of) about the proper treatment of people and expression of emotion is lacking which, combined with other social factors—males’ dominance over females and other patriarchal structures— were found to contribute to high incidences of violence. The problem, interviewees and research agreed, lies in the culture’s inability to teach children and reprimand adults—who the untaught children then emulate. For a difference to be made the country of Peru, the culture must be changed, an event, Galtung postulates, that is glacially slow in coming.

Disciplines

Gender and Sexuality | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences

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