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Trust and ViolenceAn Essay on a Modern Relationship$
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Jan Philipp Reemtsma

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142968

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142968.001.0001

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Violence and Communication

Violence and Communication

(p.259) Chapter 5 Violence and Communication
Trust and Violence

Jan Philipp Reemtsma

, Dominic Bonfiglio
Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that those who talk about the violence they commit speak the language of legitimation. The language will vary depending on whether it is uttered in zones where violence is permitted (or assumed or declared to be permitted), or whether it is uttered in zones where violence is prohibited. In either case, the language of legitimation is not all excuses and lies. People want to account for their actions, and to do this they must generally conform (or believe they must generally conform) to the language spoken by those around them. Those who use a language of violence that does not keep to the mandated/prohibited/permitted distinction precipitate a breakdown in communication. Language that lies outside this framework can convey meaning only when it is also directed at some other person who shares the speaker's assumptions and with whom the breakdown forms a communicative unity.

Keywords:   violence, language, legitimation, communication

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