Bloody Revenge: Emotions, Nationalism, And War

1st Edition

Thomas J. Scheff

Routledge
Published June 7, 2019
Reference - 175 Pages
ISBN 9780367008932 - CAT# K403324

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Summary

As violence erupts in endless cycles and old grievances reemerge throughout the world, we are challenged to examine the underpinnings of protracted conflict. In this bold new work, Thomas Scheff argues that the roots of protracted conflict lie in unacknowledged feelings of shame and rage. Scheff builds from the assumption that the social bond is a real and palpable phenomena and that in every type of human contact the bond is either built, maintained, repaired, or damaged. He then demonstrates how damaged bonds are the basic cause of conflict. When one side or the other in a dispute is humiliated or threatened in such a way as to disturb fundamental bonds, the feelings that follow are often not acknowledged. Threats to the social bond give rise to violent emotions, shame, and rage. Unless these feelings are resolved, the stage is then set for cycles of insult, humiliation, and bloody revenge. According to Scheff, it is by recognizing the emotional source of conflict and repairing the broken social bond that both sides achieve cognitive and emotional understanding, allowing them to trust and cooperate, and perceive themselves as "all in the same boat." Thus, secure social bonds ensure clear boundaries–even during competition or conflict–that help keep wars limited and make disagreements productive.

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