Social Legacies of Violence

Laura Bui

Social Legacies of Violence: Making Visible the Link Between Structural Violence and Inequalities in Everyday Violence and Mental Health

Small Group Project 2021

This interdisciplinary research aims to identify the specific mechanisms of societal violence associated with different histories of arrival among certain social groups, and how those mechanisms relate to inequalities in exposure to violence and poor mental health. It will do so by, first, conducting a pilot study in Mauritius, a country with a legacy of slavery. This has implications for countries with similar legacies like the US and UK, and comparisons will be drawn. The small group of scholars will comprise myself as principal investigator and another scholar, Adrian Raine, Professor of Criminology and Psychiatry and principal investigator of the Mauritius Child Health Project (MCHP). 

This proposal is requesting funding for two academic visits to design and conduct a pilot study using semi-structured interviews of a small group of the 1,795 children born in 1969 from the MCHP, a study on child health and development. The interviews will be one of the methods used for the research, alongside a secondary data analysis of the MCHP and a review of archival information and texts/documents on the country’s social and political history.

The research will address gaps in our understanding of violence by providing a unique framework that links structural violence, as conceptualised by Johan Galtung (1969), to direct violence and mental health to understand differences between groups with different histories of arrival to Mauritius. 

It contributes to the goals of the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) because the research integrates knowledge on violence from a variety of social science disciplines in its empirical analysis. The study will provide evidence that the multi-faceted nature of violence can create a process that enables and sustains direct, micro-level violence and poor mental health through the generations among social groups – how and why are the modes of inquiry for this research.

Contacting Fellows

If you would like to contact any of our Fellows to discuss their ISRF-funded work, please contact Dr Lars Cornelissen (Academic Editor) in the first instance, at