culture and violence
SEVILLE STATEMENT ON VIOLENCE
In 1986, in the Spanish city of Seville, the Seville Statement on Violence was elaborated by a group of international scholars belonging to different and relevant sciences. This statement was then adopted by UNESCO (1989) and endorsed by many other entities such as the American Psychological Association (1990). The Statement intends to rebate theories that have been used to justify war and violent behaviors on grounds of a biologically unavoidable predetermination existing in humans. It aims to divert the focus on the analysis of the historically human violent behavior from explanations mainly based on nature towards those based on culture. It assumes culture as a social construct in continuous change that opens the possibility to engage on peace and not warlike actions. The international widespread acceptance of this statement has not been able to overcome certain criticisms not only on its content, but also on the way it has been formulated and presented. It is not the objective of this paper to simply enumerate the different elements of the debate, criticisms and supports, generated since the Statement formulation. In fact, the main objective of this paper is to participate in the debate, through a critical assessment of the statement. On a less relevant level it also encompasses the objective of generate the necessary stimuli on the reader to become a participant in this debate. This critical assessment will be assisted by the ideas formulated in different works and articles like the one prepared by Gerald Beroldi, which appeared on the volume 49 of American Psychologist Association. The critical review of the statement will be structured in three main areas during the following pages.
At first the focus will be based on the Introduction of the Statement. In the second part the five propositions will be reviewed and questioned on an individual basis and as a whole. And finally the...
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