David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Moral Education 23 (3):315-332 (1994)
Abstract The pervasive violence that is occurring in US urban communities involves not only violent acts against individuals, but also systemic violence perpetrated against the ethnic?minority poor. It represents a breakdown in interpersonal relationships and the social order within these communities, and as such, it is a moral issue. Systemic violence refers to the inequities in the distribution of resources in urban communities, along with the immoral social policies and programmes that constitute the maintenance of this poverty. In this paper it is argued that systemic violence is a unique form of human rights violations. These violations affect the moral climate surrounding violence, which interferes with urban adolescents? efforts to resolve moral questions. Applying a human rights perspective to violence contextualises the problem in such a way that youth can be helped to explore the aetiology of violence and the inherent moral questions from both micro? and macro?systemic levels. Moral educators should utilise a human rights perspective in the development of curricula designed to enhance moral development, and in their efforts to intervene effectively to stem the rise of violence among ethnic?minority youth
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