Logo  Masthead

Photos of people and activities related to BSIHS

Abstracts from Volume 38, Number 2
(June, 2011)



Special Issue on Peace, Conflict, and War


Protecting Older Workers: The Failure of the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act of 1967
Jessica Z. Rothenberg and Daniel S. Gardner

A growing number of older adults are finding that retirement is no
longer affordable and they must work well into their later years.
Unfortunately, over 42 years after passage of the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967, age discrimination
in the workplace continues to present serious impediments to employment
in later life. Using a critical gerontology perspective, this
paper reviews the history of work-related age discrimination and
analyzes the ADEA and its limited effectiveness at protecting the
civil and economic rights of older workers. The authors discuss implications
and suggest policy alternatives that would support the
employment and enhance the economic well-being of older adults.

 

Thinking about Peace, Conflict, and War: An introduction to the Special Issue
Sondra J. Fogel and Daniel Liechty, Special Editors

Thinking about Peace Today
Michael Allen Fox

Discussing peace—and how to get to and maintain situations,
practices, and socio-political structures that build peace—is of
the greatest urgency. But the first step, both psychologically and
epistemologically, is overcoming preoccupation with war and resistance
to thinking about peace. This article takes on these problems
and lays essential groundwork for substantive discussion of peace.
Attractions of war and myths of war are deconstructed, and negative
views of humans’ capacity for peaceful behavior are examined
and rejected. Wide-ranging costs of war and war-preparedness are
also exposed. The value of peace is then discussed. A concluding
section offers a list of “home truths” (beliefs that invite universal
assent), from which constructive reflection on peace might begin.


Humanitarian Aid and the Struggle for Peace and Justice: Organizational Innovation after a Blind Date
Joseph G. Bock

Humanitarian organizations working in developing countries
have gone through a transformation since the thaw of the Cold
War. Their increased programming to promote justice and peace
has resulted in disparate partnership configurations. Illustrative
examples of these configurations show how organizational
deficiencies and challenges have spawned innovation. These innovations
provide insight about how similar organizations might
usefully be engaged in the struggle to promote greater justice
and peace in areas of the world suffering from violent conflict.


Civil Resistance and the Corruption–Violence Nexus

Shaazka Beyerle

There are multiple ways in which corruption is linked to violent
conflict, some direct and some indirect. For ordinary citizens, the
experience of this nexus is the denial of basic freedoms and rights. In
spite of such bleak circumstances, people can move from being victims
and bystanders to becoming a force for transforming their societies.
Citizens are engaging in civil resistance to curb corruption
and win accountability and justice. This article: explores the linkages
between corruption and violence; identifies the conceptual and
practical limitations of top-down, technical approaches to combating
corruption; articulates a bottom-up approach in which the civic
realm is included in the anti-corruption equation; and presents case
studies of civic action campaigns and movements under conditions
of violence, post-conflict transformation or state capture by violent
crime syndicates. From these, general lessons learned are distilled.


“Just Say No”: Organizing Against Militarism in Public Schools

Scott Harding and Seth Kershner

In an effort to counteract the growing militarization of schools, military
counter-recruitment (CR) has emerged as an effective grassroots
movement across the United States. Led by a small number of local
activists, CR utilizes community organizing methods to confront the
structures supporting military enlistment as a viable career option.
Despite operating with limited resources, counter-recruitment has
secured key legal and policy victories that challenge the dominant
social narrative about military service. Three examples of counterrecruitment
are profiled to illustrate the different tactics and strategies
used for successful organizing within a culture of militarism.


Students for Peace: Contextual and Framing Motivations of Antiwar Activism
Eric Swank and Breanne Fahs

This article traces the development of peace activism among undergraduate
social work students. In doing so, it explores how
social statuses, political contexts, and collective action frames
affect the likelihood of joining the movement against the Afghanistan
war (2001 to current). After analyzing data from a multicampus
sample of Bachelors in Social Work (BSW) students (n= 159),
results show that peace activism was predicted by level
of education as well as perceptions of proper foreign policy, the
relative efficacy of social movement tactics, and identification
with specific activist ideals. Finally, being situated in activist networks
fostered greater peace activism while the ascribed statuses
of race, class, and gender were poor predictors of peace activism.


Peace and War in the Qur'an and Juridical Literature: A Comparative Perspective
Liyakat Takim

The Qur’anic period of Islamic history took place in a social context
of significant diversity. A number of important verses in the
Qur’an reflect this diversity and encourage Islamic believers to seek
peaceful coexistence with those of other faiths, especially those designated
as “people of the Book,” specifically Christians, Jews and
Sabeans. In the later classical period of Islamic history, the exegesis
of Islamic jurists markedly de-emphasized peaceful coexistence in
favor of interpretations encouraging conquest and religious uniformity.
Although the classical jurists have exercised enormous
interpretive authority in subsequent Islamic history, their authority
was never understood to be absolute or equal to the authority
of the Qur’an itself. It is the challenge for Muslims in contemporary
times to recover the authority of Qur’anic verses encouraging
peaceful coexistence and respect for human diversity, not merely
as a social strategy, but as an integral devotional aspect of better
understanding the God who transcends all human understanding.


Contesting Buddhisms on Conflicted Land: Sarvodaya Shramadana and Buddhist Peacemaking
Masumi Hayashi-Smith

Buddhism in its various incarnations has both aided and hindered
the peace processes in Sri Lanka. Sarvodaya Shramadana,
a Buddhist development organization, stands out in the way it
uses religion to promote peace through a more humanist interpretation
of Buddhist teachings. While Sarvodaya’s alternative
approach toward the religion provides an optimistic space for
promoting peace, its connections to and dependence on populism
can also complicate its politics. This article argues that the
most effective means of peace work can be found through the same
channel of collective mobilization that hindered it, Buddhism.


Possibilities for Peace: Germany's Transformation of a Culture of War
S. Elizabeth Snyder

In reaction to its militarist past, Germany has created a strong
culture of peace, including solid educational and institutional supports
for maintaining popular attitudes critical of war and military
operations. Germany has been recognized for these efforts by a
number of international organizations, including the United Nations.
At the same time, Germany has sought to maintain a policy
of active membership in NATO and active cooperation and participation
in NATO operations. As the United States applies increased
pressure on its NATO allies in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan,
many of the inherent social and political tensions in German policy
have surfaced. The German experience of continuing to build a
culture of peace while simultaneously participating in unpopular
military operations provides a significant case study for all who
would seek to build and expand a culture of peace among nations.


World Peace: A First Step Commentary for the Special Issue
Michael D. Knox

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Due to the level of response to the special issue topic,
the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare does not contain
any book reviews this issue. This section will return in
our September 2011 issue.

 

 

College of Health and Human Services
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5243 USA
(269) 387-7367 | (269) 387-2683 Fax
Email CHHS Communications Coordinator