A Post-Socialist Residential School and the Continuum of Violence
Keywords:residential school, post-socialism, violence, inequality, autoethnography
This article discusses the tolerance of violence. Specifically, it explores the way violence is enacted and perpetuated in residential education in Latvia. The article explores the perception and experience of violence in these schools by combining ethnographic fieldwork and autoethnographic data. Violence within the institution coalesces around three main aspects of experience: violence as necessary for regulating relationships, the embodiment of violence, and the expression of institutional violence. I illustrate how the application of violence is often justified as developing independence in students and by offering opportunities that mask the role of the school system in the reproduction of inequality in society. I conclude with an exploration of how the tolerance of violence arises from reproduction of an unequal social order that is maintained through the duplicitous position of the residential school as simultaneously necessary and unnecessary, closed and open, violent and nurturing.
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