The AAG Executive Committee and Executive Director have identified a set core of themes for the 2014 Annual Meeting in Tampa that address issues of violence, GIS and public policy among others. This session proposes to explore the nexus of violence, GIS and public policy by drawing together a collection of papers that explore how and to what effect geographic information systems can be used to identify, analyze and contest pervasive and entrenched forms of structural violence in communities. In particular, the session seeks papers that consider how an understanding of structural violence informed by GIS analysis can provide social justice activists a practical tool with which to construct new, more equitable realities.
Structural violence, as articulated through the work of Johan Galtung, is understood as institutionalized discrimination, marginalization, subjugation and disenfranchisement that causes harm to the potential health, livelihood and/or social mobility of individuals. Whereas direct physical violence, such as abuse, assault, murder and warfare, can be countered through the creation of institutions, structural violence is more difficult to combat because it is institutions that are the perpetrators of the violence. Galtung (1985) called for a critical analysis of such structures in order to “transform structures pregnant with violence into less violent ones” and, possibly, curtail the breadth and depth of structural violence throughout the world. Such a transformation of institutional structures, according to Galtung, requires the agitation of individuals dissatisfied with the status quo.
This session will emphasize papers that use GIS to better understand social justice activists as those dissatisfied agitators who seek the transformation of existing structures that negatively impact the health, livelihood and/or social mobility of people throughout the world. Moreover, papers that explore GIS as a tool through which social justice activists can challenge structural violence are of particular interest.
Interested participants in this session should send abstracts to Robert R. Sauders, Associate Professor of Anthropology & Geography at Eastern Washington University (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Anna Dvorak (email@example.com), Assistant Professor of Geography at Eastern Washington University by Tuesday, November 19th.
Robert R. Sauders
Department of Geography & Anthropology, Department of History
Eastern Washington University Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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