Doktorarbeit: The Socio-Political Construction of Civilians Affected by War – “Refocusing Life While Weaving Pain”

The Socio-Political Construction of Civilians Affected by War – “Refocusing Life While Weaving Pain”

An Alternative Look at Relational Agency Theory Based on the Colombian Case

– in englischer Sprache –

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Studien zur Konflikt- und Friedensforschung, Band 16

Hamburg , 522 Seiten

ISBN 978-3-339-13600-8 (Print) |ISBN 978-3-339-13601-5 (eBook)

Zum Inhalt

A painful reality persists in the 21st century: The various faces of violence are troubling as ever, manifesting themselves not only in brutal wars but also concealed within inequality, poverty, and injustice.

Direct, structural, and symbolic violence erodes the lives of millions of people every day, causing immense suffering. One might assume that war robs individuals of their motivation to move forward and overcome hardship. However, what happens when this very pain, which keeps these people in a vulnerable state, becomes the impetus for a transformative journey? What if the grief caused by violence propels them to overcome their pain, take charge of their lives, and actively contribute to building more dignified societies through their daily actions?

This research brings to light the stories of Colombian citizens who have chosen to share their life experiences and explain how, despite living in a country like Colombia, which is known for its history of armed conflict, drug trafficking, and social poverty, they somehow managed to refocus their lives.

These life stories show how suffering initially emerged as a means of survival, which later immersed them in a creative and adaptable transformative process. This journey involved introspection, decision-making, creative endeavours, adaptive responses, and the duality of simultaneously being a subject-patient (a person who suffers the consequences of violence) and a subject-agent (a person who takes control of life despite the suffering).

Thus, from their position of vulnerability, these actors developed a critical outlook as citizens of a violent country, and profound ways of interpreting reality. They demonstrate how they came to participate in psychosocial programs, sharing their experiences, what the dynamics are like with governmental and international institutions and that sometimes the solution is to work in the community: establishing a psychosocial program, engaging in social activism, or contributing to society by aiming to nurture joyful, pain-free childhoods.

Although these participants did not have the ability to influence the sociopolitical structures that surrounded and victimised them, they do show us how they managed to cultivate personal, familial, and societal commitments to effect changes within their immediate spheres.

Ihr Werk im Verlag Dr. Kovač

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