Author: Alexandre Werneck

Abstract: In this article we propose a model for a pragmatic sociology of violence. Based on a semiotic analysis of a primordial cognitive operation deployed in people’s definition of situations, namely qualification, the essential characterization of things, the paper maps the meanings attributed to what both ordinary social actors and academic analysts treat as violence. Our analysis shows that this operation imbues a concrete object with meaning, the disproportionate use of force, whose resignifications compose a typology of five ‘sociologies of violence,’ both native and academic. These are: substantivist, constructivist, political, critical, and praxiological. To this gallery, we suggest the addition of another item: a pragmatic sociology. Taking the sign ‘violence’ as an interpretant, this sociology seeks to understand how, in people’s qualifications, it functions as a connection between moral metaphysics (worldviews in which the deployment of disproportionate force makes sense) and devices capable of effectuating them.

Keywords: violence, disproportionate force, pragmatism, pragmatic sociology of violence, conflict.

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