From Narratives of Violence to Narratives of Peace: The Renunciation of Violence as a Discursive Phenomenon

dc.contributor.advisorCobb, Sara
dc.contributor.authorGlowacki, Agatha
dc.creatorGlowacki, Agatha
dc.description.abstractThis study seeks to understand how individuals who have renounced their affiliations to violent organizations, referred to as <&ldquo>formers<&ldquo>, make sense of their transformation through a morphological analysis of their narratives to uncover possible ways this process of renunciation could be encouraged and supported. A hermeneutics of renunciation that frames change as a process of narrative identity transformation bounded by particular discourses provides a powerful means of exploring the dynamics of this transformation. This study examines whether the renunciation of former gang members, right-wing extremists, and terrorists can be facilitated through the presence of specific discourses around transformation. The central argument of the study is that <&ldquo>supporting discourses<&ldquo> can enable the decision to renounce violence by offering models of belief change, political activism, and redemption. Furthermore, <&ldquo>alternate identity discourses<&ldquo> can support the decision to renounce by providing discursive resources to use in reconstructing a new narrative identity. The purpose of this study is to contribute to an understanding of the process of renouncing violence, also referred to in some disciplines as deradicalization and disengagement, by providing a social constructionist and post-structuralist perspective that may be of benefit to policy makers, support services and educators, conflict resolution practitioners, as well as to the academic community. Theoretically, it is demonstrated that identity transformation occurs along the lines of nonlinear narrative change dynamics and that particular discourses play a key role in enabling renunciation. It is also demonstrated that the memoirs of formers represent a specific narrative genre, termed the <italic>Redemptive Renunciation Memoir</italic>, which can be used as an identity model to support an evolution towards the renunciation of violence.
dc.format.extent472 pages
dc.rightsCopyright 2013 Agatha Glowacki
dc.subjectPeace studies
dc.titleFrom Narratives of Violence to Narratives of Peace: The Renunciation of Violence as a Discursive Phenomenon
dc.typeDissertation Analysis and Resolution Mason University


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