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Structural violence is a form of violence that arises in a society out of indirect participation of every individual within that particular social setting. Structural violence arises out of individual praise or blame of certain aspects in a society. Structural violence and physical violence are similar in that in both scenarios an individual is assaulted both physically and in terms of self-respect and personhood. However, structural violence is different in one respect—it leads to social oppression as well. In this regard, structural violence is connected to social structure because oppression in any given society does not just happen; it arises out of an inter-connection of many attributes in the society like historical memories that in actual sense are nobody’s fault. Structural violence is a useful concept in some scenarios while in others, it might not be adequately developed to address the required problem (Farmer, 2004).
One of the cases in which structural violence is practically useful is when it is used to point to the perennial limitations of a cultural anthropology that regularly neglect material factors of biomedical research. In particular, structural violence can be useful both politically and analytically if used to reflect the heterogeneous, complex, and contradicting lives of the poor and the disenfranchised in the society. The usefulness of structural violence will be determined by development of anthropology of disorder that moves from local to large scale. Such an approach can tie together the shallow and deep causes of poverty and inequality in the society. The large and distant causes of suffering in Haiti are among others, slave trade, slavery, and colonialism. From a critical analysis, these practices have led to racism, socioeconomic and cultural oppression in the Haitian society. In the United States today, structural violence is exhibited in a large number of intermediaries who lack purchasing power in the contemporary United States economic landscape (Farmer, 2004).