Interpersonal Violence Interventions

International conference 28.-30. August 2013 Interpersonal Violence Interventions - Social and Cultural Perspectives, University of Jyväskylä

How has violence been understood in different ages and cultures? How is it defined today? What kind of factors have influenced the toleration of violence in different communities? Which institutions have had the power to define and address violence? How has the legislators' conception of punishable violence changed? Have the interventions of the community, health care and the institutions of control into domestic violence been effective?

The definitions of violence and the significances attached to it are always linked to the age and the prevailing culture. With the decline of the patriarchal ideology, numerous forms of physical coercion that in their time were considered acceptable and even desirable have become punishable crimes of violence. The multiplicity of the factors that produce violence, the multifarious nature of the phenomenon and the extent of its impacts have dispersed research on the subject across a wide spectrum of disciplines. It is apposite to examine the causes of violence and the means for combating it from psychological, neurological, social, juridical and indeed cultural perspectives, and within different research traditions the background of the factors involved, the motives for violence and the social problems it causes have been analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively.

The Academy of Finland research projects Chastisement or Violence? Attitudes towards the Misuse of Patriarchal Power in Modernising Finland and Encountering Violence in Social and Health Care Organizations in cooperation with the Department Social Sciences and Philosophy and the Department of History and Ethnology of the University of Jyväskylä will organize a multidisciplinary international seminar on 5 and 6 September 2013, the purpose of which is to bring together experts on interpersonal violence in the fields of social and legal studies, history, cultural research, psychology and health care. The intention is to create a forum in which experts on violence from different disciplines can present and compare their research methods and results and engage in a dialogue to promote interdisciplinary cooperation.

The core content of the conference is encapsulated in three questions, which also define the activities of the work groups: How has violence been understood? What kinds of violence have existed? What means have been used to address violence? The seminar will create long-term contexts for the concept of violence, demonstrate the cultural bond between violence and definitions of it and outline chronological changes in the phenomenon. The creation of historical syntheses concerning violence will also provide tools for scholars in the fields of cultural and social studies to devise new approaches that will help to combat violence. The need in Finnish historical and social studies for a joint forum for researchers studying violence is emphasized by Finland's rather high rankings in statistics of homicide and spousal violence.