Word, Speech and Dialogue - the phenomenon of symbolic violence in Colombia

Project: Research Project

Project Details


The use of language is closely linked to aspects not only social and cultural, it is also closely linked to the political and ideological use of it, the differences that are manifested in these various fields, are at the origin of the use of language, so the word is the privileged place to express, contain and transfer interests linked to the power that is to be exercised, it is then where violence can originate, not as a forceful fact, but rather the language can act.
Colombia in its history has gone through multiple scenarios that go from a forceful war, to sustained conflict, passing through acts of relevant irrationality, not only individual but also collective; at the same time, facts and strategies that refine the violent act have been developed progressively, for that reason the privileged scenario has been one of audio-visual mediatization, in this scenario the word has been articulated around speeches that reflect ideological components tremendously radicalized sometimes.
Overall, the population has been exposed to this phenomenon, transferring it to everyday events and facts, and in some cases it has even germinated in the family scenario. The FORENSIS study 2015 reports on this. There are also statistics that show a progressive increase in physical acts of violence arising from differences that are expressed by language which has been sorted by well-selected words.
The question that arises is that language with a structure of violence ordered in the use of the word, has been trivialized on the one hand in the common use among members of social groups, the word has also been transformed into an instrument of minimization of the other, using it to annul the other. The question then is whether language acts as a de-sensitizer of the other, facilitating symbolic and physical acts of violence; this research derives from the group's previous research on the problem of violence at work, precisely where the organization of work reflects the social order, we have found how acts of violence arise from the use of the word prices, the same phenomenon is repeated in social organizations that are not only productive, but also of education. The palpable phenomenon is that of content, leading to acceptance and tolerance, it is well known that in Colombia no fact is cause for amazement; on the contrary, it is quickly diluted by the following, eliminating processes of reflection on the nature of the event.In a context of generating scenarios of peace, it is essential to understand the way in which this phenomenon is embedded in individuals and society, it is necessary to understand the magnitude of words, their intentionality and the way in which they permeate the collective and individual imagination. The failure to overcome this generates, as we see, the manifestation of simple and sophisticated forms of symbolic violence that materializes in facts that reflect this exasperation of content.
The development of this research will then contribute to the emergence of structures of language and the forms in which words are woven in a society that is highly tolerant of acts of violence, i. e. the forms of language sophistication can be seen and experienced in a context of de facto democracy, where the starting hypothesis indicates that words are the means to overcome violence, using them as a vehicle of rationality. However, in our country, the opposite seems to be true: the word is the means of encouraging vectors of violence, through contempt and stigmatization based on a strong mediatization of the facts. This should make it possible to understand from the model generated as the phenomenon occurs in other contexts, thus contributing to a better understanding of this phenomenon.Now this must be transferred and materialized in an experience, since the way to understand and reawaken the senses and content of what has been said is to experience it by exposing it as an objective, so the result of this research is the development of an experience of uses based on interaction, giving the individual the possibility of experimenting with networks of armed words that addressed to a specific individual can impact their esteem.
Experiencing this event, lead to a better understanding of how these messages circulate in society, contributing to generate diverse scenarios where the meaning of peace can be understood, beyond the absence of conflict or war.
Short titleLa palabra, el discurso y el diálogo
Effective start/end date11/4/163/1/18

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Main Funding Source

  • FIUR


  • Bogotá D.C.


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