Biography and Violence
For this session we invite papers on the interrelations between violence, life courses and life stories from the perspective of biographical research. When researching people’s everyday life experiences and the entanglement of biographies with family and collective histories in their respective socio-historical contexts, being confronted with experiences of violence in one way or the other comes almost naturally as a part of biographical research. At the same time, sociological research on dynamics and experiences of violence still poses a lot of challenges analytically and methodologically.
In this session we will specifically address the issue of living in contexts, situations and social spaces that have been (more or less permanently) shaped by recurring forms of collective (organized or ‘spontaneous’) violence, such as (civil) wars, pogroms, (state) terrorism, and violent conflicts between different groupings. We will discuss questions such as: How are experiences of violence (from the perspectives of violent actors, victims or bystanders) interrelated with life courses, power relations/figurations between different groupings and constructions of belonging? We hope to open a broad comparative discussion and therefore invite papers concerning biographies, violent actors, armed groups, violent settings and violent actions in the so-called Global North and the so-called Global South.