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© 2021 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved. Archaeological and ethnographic accounts of violence in small-scale societies represent a baseline for thinking about the ways that violence and masculinity originated and evolved, becoming entwined social processes. Male violence (lethal and nonlethal) is expressed in diverse and complex ways because it is associated with social spheres of power and influence, and it is embedded within ideologies, histories, and collective memories. Applying anthropological research on violence as a generative and transformational social process demonstrates how violence plays a key role in creating, maintaining, and transforming social structures in small-scale societies. The reinterpretation of massacre sites in the ancient Southwestern United States in terms of social ideologies and beliefs offers an important counterbalance to earlier work that portrayed violence as the result of environmental stressors and/or cultural crises. Using an interpretive (poetics) approach that focuses on the ritualized aspects of male violence provides rich insights into the social processes governing the cultural logic that normalizes and institutionalizes violence.
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Violence and Masculinity in Small-Scale Societies.
Current Anthropology, 62(S23),