Sebastian Huhn / Anika Oettler / Peter Peetz

Construyendo Inseguridades. Aproximaciones a la violencia en Centroamérica desde el análisis del discurso

GIGA Working Paper, No. 34, November 2006

In all Central American countries we witness a struggle to define, interpret and classify types of violence, delinquency, crime and (in)security. Although this struggle has highly relevant political and social implications, it has not been analyzed systematically. This article evaluates the state of the art and, based on methodological considerations, emphasizes the contribution of qualitative research on the local level in contrast to quantitative studies on the national or regional level. In a second step, using the discourse on Central American youth gangs as an example, the authors show that moral panic and repressive criminal policies are not direct consequences of the violence phenomena per se. Rather, the perception of and the reactions to insecurity and violence are based on social discourses about these phenomena.

Related Research at the GIGA

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GIGA Authors

Prof. Dr. Anika Oettler is a professor of sociology at Philipps‐Universität Marburg and an associate researcher at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA). She has published extensively on transitional justice, historical memory, and violence.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Anika Oettler

Transitional Justice, Recognition, and Authoritative Power

GIGA Working Paper, No. 305, August 2017

Peter Peetz

Un discurso hecho ley: La construcción social de la violencia mediante textos jurídicos en Centroamérica

in: Werner Mackenbach / Günther Maihold (eds.), La transformación de la violencia en América Latina, Guatemala-City: F&G Editores, 2015, 137-180

Peter Peetz

Demokratiedefizite in Lateinamerika

Hispanorama, 2015, 148, 65-69