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Intergroup Violence Sociology Report - Book Report/Review Example

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Running head: Intergroup Violence Name Name of instructor Date Intergroup Violence Intergroup violence has been described as violence that emanates from allowing several different groups to exist as they wish, granting them sovereignty and allowing group members to carry out their activities as they wish, as long as they do not break the law…
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Intergroup Violence Sociology Report
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Running head: Intergroup Violence Intergroup Violence Intergroup violence has been described as violence that emanates from allowing several different groups to exist as they wish, granting them sovereignty and allowing group members to carry out their activities as they wish, as long as they do not break the law. The concept of forming groups has been around since man first walked the earth. This was mainly for protection and the benefits that came from operating in large numbers rather than as individuals. This later led to the formation of communities, countries and other organized groups to achieve particular goals. However, many psychologists argue that with the advent of technology has rendered the need for too much group sovereignty as being a dangerous thing (Hamburg, 1998). This is because of the existence of weapons that can lead to many casualties should the groups turn against each other due to real or perceived misunderstandings. According to Hamburg (1998), the way group violence occurs is through formations of in-groups and out-groups. These groups, as said earlier, tend to be very aggressive when it comes to protecting their beliefs, territories, members or property. In most cases, groups tend to view other groups with opinions or beliefs different from theirs as suspicious or with strong dislikes. Naturally, human beings have violent tendencies embedded in their nature. Now, once people join groups where they believe they are fighting for a particular cause, any threat to this group tends to bring out this violent nature. The result is that members of different groups tend to turn on each other with fatal consequences. Some of the most notable inter group violence has been experienced among religious groups and denominations (Hamburg, 1998). Religion has been a very touchy issue for most people for centuries and this has not let up even today. The reason for this is because it involves beliefs of supreme beings that people have never seen but have faith exist. This has led to different beliefs on how these Beings look like, operate or where they live. However, one thing that all these religions agree on is that there is one Supreme Being, called God. Other illustrations of inter group violence involves differences between countries, economic blocks and social groups. Hamburg (1998) indicates that several factors have contributed to modern day intergroup violence. One of the most important is the economic inequalities experienced by most communities. Today, more than ever, there is a very wide gap between the rich and the poor. While the poor are getting poorer and feeling short-changed, the rich a re getting richer especially in the face of economic uncertainties. This has created a lot of resentment among the poor toward the rich people, leading to violence against, especially, the ruling elite. Emphasizing on and recognizing differences among groups have also led to inter group violence. People have very little tolerance for each others’ beliefs and when authorities grant independence to groups with different fundamentals to operate freely, resentments start to appear among the groups. These groups will resort to violence and other unconventional but hurting means to exert their presence. Furthermore, these groups in a bid to expand may forcefully force other members in the community to join them against their will; this infringes on the rights of neutral members of the society. Ethnic factors are also known to fuel and propagate inter group violence. The origins of this genre of inter group violence could be dating centuries back and may be difficult to completely eliminate. An illustration is the attempted annihilation of Jews by the Nazis in the mid 20th century. If left unabated, intergroup violence can have dangerous consequences on societies in the world as a whole. For instance, tension created by intergroup violence can be very unnerving and lead to fully blown-up fighting which would cause loss of lives, property, livelihoods and displacement of people as they try to avoid the violence. Inter group violence can also lead to underdevelopment of areas and poverty since investors will avoid putting money in areas experiencing such violence. This might lead to a vicious cycle where poverty in such places will cause further intergroup violence and less investing. In the end, people caught in between such forms of inter group violence end up suffering, either by lacking basic essentials or infrastructure to uplift their lives. Intergroup violence also creates a need for the creation of more sophisticated weapons, which could be used against other groups. This would mostly occur if the violence is wide spread and the groups involved have a long history of enmity which does not seem to have an end in sight. Despite the existence of and the harsh consequences experienced by many due to intergroup violence, there are solutions to either reducing them or completely eliminating violence among groups. The first solution would be opening communication channels among groups. This would help if all the partners are willing to sit down and discuss their differences in a bid to end the resentment between them. For other groups, sitting down would help discover the origins of their enmity, since some cases of intergroup violence have been passed down to generations which are not informed the reasons for the violence. For intergroup violence caused by economic inequalities, the authorities set out to implement plans to ensure equal distribution of wealth to all. In conclusion, intergroup violence can be eliminated by eliminating their origins in the first place. Reference Hamburg, D. A. (1998). Preventing Contemporary Intergroup Violence. In, Eugene Weiner (Ed.). The Handbook of Interethnic Coexistence (pp. 22-42). New York: Continuum. Read More
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