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What is structural violence about?

Structural violence refers to social hierarchies, asymmetric positions of power and unequal distribution of resources which perpetuate forms of social inequality, marginalisation and discrimination* and therefore reduces the potential of the people affected.

The consequences of structural violence are forms of discrimination, reduced/no access to resources or feelings of inferiority, without the possibility of identifying concrete perpetrators.


In the context of institutions such as universities, this concerns discriminatory regulations and actions that are facilitated/enabled by the very structure of these places:


-structural discrimination against students from third countries (tuition fees, access to funding)


-the use of positions of power at the university/ in the classroom (verbal and/or physical transgression of boundaries)


- Lack of supporting structures at the university in these cases



*Discrimination is the disadvantaging of people in connection with certain characteristics such as sex, skin colour, ethnic or social origin, age, disability, language, religion, belief, political or other opinion, membership of a national minority, sexual orientation, property, birth or genetic characteristics (cf. Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union).

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