Available languages:
Credit card

Privacy policy


SEN, A. Identity and Violence

SEN, A. Identity and Violence, W.W. Norton & Company, New York - London 2006; tr. it. Identità e violenza, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2006.

«Sectarian violence throughout the world is today just as rough and restrictive as it was sixty years ago. It is a gross brutality based on a great conceptual confusion about individual identities, capable to turn multi-dimensional human beings into one-dimensional creatures». With these words Amartya Sen summarises his analysis of the relationship between identity and violence: when identity is understood as univocal and unmodifiable, that is, with no possibility of choice, then, sooner or later, it is transformed into a bulwark to defend against others' diversity. It could be said that identity inevitably turns violent when it refuses its "mestizo" nature, that is, its constitutionally multi-voiced nature. This is why Sen considers that «the main hope for harmony in our tormented world lies in the plurality of our identities, which are mutually intertwined and reject any drastic divisions along insuperable and irresistible boundaries ».