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Journal Article


Álvarez S. Antípod. Rev. Antropol. Arqueol. 2010; (10): 141-155.


(Copyright © 2010, Departamento de Antropología, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de los Andes)






This text analyses the relations between domestic violence and ideas and practices that produce the social construction of what a peasant man has to be in a town at the foot of the Paramo of Sumapaz in the Colombian Andes. Observing the male behaviour, the author describes how violence, aggression, the hard work of the land, alcohol, the control of home and extramarital adventures expressed force and power that is transforms in respect. In this fashion, the rich and mature peasant is considered a powerful man and respected as such. In contrast, the young poor peasant, you have to be excessively aggressive because he is obliged to show his might in order to be considered and respected socially. In a community where the power relations are unstable and fluid, violence is used to construct a self. Aggression and competition are central elements in the social construction of masculinity. In spite of this, the aggressive actions against women and children are not perceived as violence but as Internal problems of any couple or family. In fact, when women protest for the beatings they do it internally and do not put these matters in the legal system. In this way, the author show as to difficulty: the perception of to behaviour is seen in a different way by the observed and by the researcher. These behaviours are not stigmatised by actors, find that the other strategies to deal with violent actions.

Masculinity, social construction of a self, domestic violence, peasant.


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