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2014 | 15(2) |

Article title

CULTURES OF THE PAST: Old Games–New Meanings? Understanding Modern Gun Violence in the Light of Nineteenth Century Habits

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Cultural practices are part of everyday life. This paper analyzes the link between violenceand cultural practice. Via an analytical focus on social practices and interaction theory itargues that cultural patterns of interaction form a set of routines which link micro structuresof daily encounters with macro effects (1). It shows that these habitual patterns areclosely linked to historical ancestors and gender constructions (2). Finally it explains howhabitual patterns and rituals can be linked to the process of historical transformation (3).The paper analyses historical examples of violent behavior in order to offer a freshperspective on certain widespread behaviors. It demonstrates that in order to understandgun violence of the early 20th century, the reconstruction and understanding of historicalantecedents of contemporary interactions is necessary. Through a close reading and comparisonof weaponry practice in the 19th and 20th centuries, it becomes clear that modernrituals incorporated elements of the historical habitus. Thus it becomes evident that ritualforms of interaction have the potential to fuse historical patterns with new elements. Thisis the reason rituals prove essential to modern societies, as they combine elements of continuityand stability with the dynamics of change.



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