Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Why ascribing individuals to “communities” can be so dangerous.

The ability of the term community to exoticise and to “other” whole groups of people results in real differences in social service provision, medical, policing and other vital interventions: Zoe Williams (Guardian 01/01/12) in an article on the new domestic violence definition notes that DV is often ascribed to ethnicity – the otherness of the victim – the obvious example being so-called “honour” killings –
“Once it’s a cultural problem, that brings statutory relativism; women from some communities are simply not thought to warrant the interventions that would be made if they were white and British. Then, when the woman is killed, her community is deemed cold and strange: cultural differences, again, are blamed for the escalation from abuse to murder, when in fact it was the perception of difference that left the victim unsupported, not the difference itself”

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