Home » Barbaric Civilization: A Critical Sociology of Genocide by Christopher John Powell
Barbaric Civilization: A Critical Sociology of Genocide Christopher John Powell

Barbaric Civilization: A Critical Sociology of Genocide

Christopher John Powell

Published June 15th 2011
ISBN : 9780773538566
Paperback
368 pages
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 About the Book 

From its beginnings in the early twelfth century, the Western civilizing process has involved two interconnected transformations: the monopolization of military force by sovereign states and the cultivation in individuals of habits and dispositionsMoreFrom its beginnings in the early twelfth century, the Western civilizing process has involved two interconnected transformations: the monopolization of military force by sovereign states and the cultivation in individuals of habits and dispositions of the kind that we call civilized. The combined forward movement of these processes channels violent struggles for social dominance into symbolic performances. But even as the civilizing process frees many subjects from the threat of direct physical force, violence accumulates behind the scenes and at the margins of the social order, kept there by a deeply habituated performance of dominance and subordination called deferentiation. When deferentiation fails, difference becomes dangerous and genocide becomes possible. Connecting historical developments with everyday life occurrences, and discussing examples ranging from thirteenth-century Languedoc to 1994 Rwanda, Powell offers an original framework for analyzing, comparing, and discussing genocides as variable outcomes of a common underlying social system, raising unsettling questions about the contradictions of Western civilization and the possibility of a world without genocide.