CULTURES OF THE PAST: Old Games–New Meanings? Understanding Modern Gun Violence in the Light of Nineteenth Century Habits

Dagmar Ellerbrock 1
1 - Technical University Dresden
2014; 15 (2):
ICID: 1131973
Article type: Other
IC™ Value: 1.50
Abstract provided by Publisher
Cultural practices are part of everyday life. This paper analyzes the link between violence
and cultural practice. Via an analytical focus on social practices and interaction theory it
argues that cultural patterns of interaction form a set of routines which link micro structures
of daily encounters with macro effects (1). It shows that these habitual patterns are
closely linked to historical ancestors and gender constructions (2). Finally it explains how
habitual patterns and rituals can be linked to the process of historical transformation (3).
The paper analyses historical examples of violent behavior in order to offer a fresh
perspective on certain widespread behaviors. It demonstrates that in order to understand
gun violence of the early 20th century, the reconstruction and understanding of historical
antecedents of contemporary interactions is necessary. Through a close reading and comparison
of weaponry practice in the 19th and 20th centuries, it becomes clear that modern
rituals incorporated elements of the historical habitus. Thus it becomes evident that ritual
forms of interaction have the potential to fuse historical patterns with new elements. This
is the reason rituals prove essential to modern societies, as they combine elements of continuity
and stability with the dynamics of change.
DOI: 10.5604/20842937.1131973

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