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Muhammad Shoukat 4/24/2011 Intro to PJS Take Home Exam 2

1. What role does gender play in the creation of positive peace and the creation of peace cultures? What role does gender play in the creation and maintenance of warrior cultures? As was discussed in class and various readings, gender, is a social construct that becomes a behaviour and a social process that we all partake in. In a sense, we become both product and producer of gendered identities and meanings. But how do we do it? And to what end? How have you participated in the social construction of gender for yourself and for others? How can our current constructions and performances of gender be part of the creation of cultures of peace? Be sure to address both feminine and masculine gender types.

It seems to me that you misinterpreted the question. Rather than focusing on how gender and it's contemporary practices can effect Boulding's theories of cultures of peace and "warrior" cultures, you took a very anthropological approach to the issues of warrior cultures as they are seen in certain Pacific Island nations. I wanted to talk to you about this possibility and what can be done about it. ( Professor Comments) Boulding book link: http://books.google.com/books?id=owHhJ0uQ8DEC&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=Boulding+w arrior+cultures&source=bl&ots=TNg-dL0ZUX&sig=n4hzJUqrW_0N9zX9wE0UqXUyUg&hl=en&ei=zavNTY28M8ry0gHmy8HnDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnu m=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false Bill Clinton once said In our hearts and in our laws, we must treat all our people with fairness and dignity, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Can one really have a world where one can be treated with fairness and dignity, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation? Such is the question one tends to address when it comes to analyzing the role that gender plays in the creation of positive peace and the creation of peace cultures. Before one can go

Muhammad Shoukat 4/24/2011 Intro to PJS Take Home Exam 2

ahead with answering the question, it is important to decipher the meaning of positive peace. Positive peace in today s world tends to carry the definition of being an order which will gratify many of one's central values, especially self-esteem, and in doing so provide happiness, satisfaction, and justice (Rummel). In context of this
definition, one comes to a conclusion that in creating positive peace in a given cultural

setting, it is important to evaluate gender as a factor. It is critical that by understanding these dynamics, the social construction of gender and its role in culture is important in the success and security of that given culture. From this, one learns that gender roles in a given culture not only shape the nature of positive peace required, but also set the social conduct and behavior of individuals in a given society. With this in mind, it is important to mention that gender is an important facet of determining the state of peace in a given culture, especially when it comes to the different gender roles each gender plays in a society. Gender roles are considered important dynamics in the creation of positive peace and different interactions encourage development for individuals in a given society and culture. Using the scholarly viewpoint of Micheal Nagler, a renowned peace and justice studies scholar, one gets a clear illustration of the relation that gender roles play in creation of positive peace cultures. Nagler talks about an uprising against the Muslims in Northern India in a small village in the province of Gujarat. Nagler mentions how there were these crazy-Hindu mobs which were funded by the secular Indian government in 2001 who would come sweeping into the small villages with gaspressured chemicals looking for Muslims. Since most of the men in these small villages

Muhammad Shoukat 4/24/2011 Intro to PJS Take Home Exam 2

would be out to work in the fields, there were these women who would be at home alone. Muslims, in these villages were mostly artisans so they would stay home. When such uprisings would happen, these Hindu women, without any preparation would take-in these Muslim men into their home and hide them. The same procedure would happen in many neighborhoods. When these Hindu Mobs would come they would say she s hiding a Muslim and would ask the women to take him out. The Hindu women would say, first kill me and then kill him. This very story that Nagler mentions in a recent lecture, gives one a sense of how this small village in India was creating positive peace mainly through household women. It did not require NGO s or and peace workers to stop these Hindu mobs, it just required the sense of unity between people of this very village. If it was not for these women, these Hindu mobs would have killed thousands and thousands of Muslims every day. Using the examples listed above, and analyzing the conditions of the role that gender plays, one can come to a very distinct conclusion. Gender is important because it involves two main groups in a particular culture, male and female. From a more universal societal view, gender is taken from a role-defined position, which is explained as masculine or feminine roles. In a given society, it is this interaction that shapes a given outcome. Whether it is a state of unrest or a sense of positive peace, the interaction between genders is vital in proving the essence of development (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2009). As a result, gender characterizes

Muhammad Shoukat 4/24/2011 Intro to PJS Take Home Exam 2

cultural change, which in effect develops the state of the given culture (Webel & Galtung, 2007). Moreover, Positive peace is illustrated as the interaction between members of a society with a sense of unity and progressive development. Zelizer and Rubinstein (2009) establish that positive peace derives from gender roles as equalizing the status between males and females, or masculine individuals and feminine individuals, in the given society. However, in retrospect, it is important to understand how warrior cultures attain such peace, which involves a smooth societal function and overall productivity. Women in these cultures focus on archaic duties which prevent them from any involvement in labor outside homes, although this is contradicted in womenwarrior cultures where women dominated or gender-equality cultures. However, in the natural sense of society, the relations between men and women construct the effectiveness of a culture s inherent function. Macdonald, Holden, and Ardener (1988) depict this interaction in warrior cultures as a form of influence and support. Women, who were viewed as second to men, were in charge of the family as well as the pacification of men, where the old adage was coined, in many versions, where behind every great man is a woman. The positive peace in this situation involves the submissive and oppressive dynamics present in the roles of gender in these societies. As long as these rules were followed, the innate peace was maintained. Men were the power holders - with dominion and

Muhammad Shoukat 4/24/2011 Intro to PJS Take Home Exam 2

intelligence in wars, and women were the holders of power - notable for their significance in child bearing and home care. Furthermore, it is thus important to consider the reality of gender roles as more than just an interaction. It involves the vital need to uphold social norms in order to play a role as defined, or as adapted to, in a given culture. Webel and Galtung (2007) establish gender equality as an important social function that establishes the rights of both male and female in playing masculine and feminine roles. It is this interconnection that allows culture to understand the important dynamics on how gender plays a vital role in obtaining positive peace. Within context, the interaction is shaped into a more specific relation, which focuses on the positive development of each gender without the burden of discrimination and of specified inferior roles. Although in warrior cultures, this gender hierarchy provided to be a positive development for them, it is crucial to understand that the social norms present in contemporary societies function differently than warrior societies. As a result, positive peace, where cultural violence is absent, will create secured development that levels the playing ground for all people, which is a necessary supplement for the overall reconstruction of negative social norms into productive ones (Sweetman, 2005). It is in this establishment that the gender identities affect the overall development of these roles as defined by the overall social behavior present. Men and women are now able to compete in the business world, and this healthy competition is important in understanding the role peace is required to present for the given

Muhammad Shoukat 4/24/2011 Intro to PJS Take Home Exam 2

society. Cultural violence, in this aspect, becomes non-existent, as both sexes have equal opportunities. Furthermore, the archaic gender roles played by women as housewives and men as breadwinners are slowly becoming obsolete. This focus on gender equality puts the responsibility of both facets to effective family development on both individuals, which is an important social construct toward gender equality. In order to facilitate this contention toward gender equality, one can play one s role in establishing the needed measures to ensure that peace is obtained. By accepting how women can lead a company as much as a man can or how men can stay home and take care of their kids is an important step in associating better understanding of gender roles as not restrictive but universal. It is this awareness that shape the overall contentions needed by my role in society that will allow peace to exist among individuals in one s community. The current constructions and performances of gender becomes less derived on sex and more on the role an individual plays in a given community. With this at hand, it becomes evident that the continual drive toward gender equality will facilitate the contention of peace needed in a given community. Through this measure, gender roles establish the transformation of the rigidity of a given society into a more developmental one.

Muhammad Shoukat 4/24/2011 Intro to PJS Take Home Exam 2

Warrior cultures may have proven that social norms with specific roles can present the society with peaceful situations, but it is important to note that inequality will remain an issue that has zero tolerance, especially with the many social movements present attempting to overcome the notion of a second class. Thus, gender roles are shaped to provide the sense of positive peace, which becomes only freest when cultures are truly equal through gender equality.

References Macdonald, S., Holden, P., & Ardener, S. (Eds.). (1988). Images of women in peace and war: cross-cultural and historical perspective. Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. Rummel, R.j. "POSITIVE PEACE PRINCIPLE." University of Hawaii System. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. <http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/TJP.CHAP11.HTM>. Sweetman, C. (Ed.). (2005). Gender, peacebuilding, and reconstruction. Massachusetts: Oxfam. Webel, C., & Galtung, J. (2007). Handbook of peace and conflict studies. New York: Routledge.

Wolfe, Alvin W., and Honggang Yang. Anthropological Contributions to Conflict Resolution. Athens: University of Georgia, 1996. Print.
Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2009). Understanding human behavior and the social environment. California: Cengage Learning. Zelizer, C., & Rubinstein, R. A. (2009). Building peace: practical reflections from the field. Virginia: Kumarian Press.