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Re: [xmca] Gangs and their mothers


Not what you are looking for, but there is a nice parallel in the Shaka
Zulu story (legend?). As the story goes, before Shaka Zulu, opposing tribes
would stand a distance apart that was farther than one could thrown a
spear. Shaka Zulu's rise to power was a result of his willingness to cut
the distance and actually inflict injury on opposing tribes (this coincides
with colonial impositions, I think). Not a very good description but maybe
something that would be of use depending.

I was also recently reading in Randall Collins' Interaction Ritual Chains
(or maybe from R. Nisbet) about ritual warfare and how a people in Papua
New Guinea (?) have a belief that you can't wage war at night because the
nocturnal spirits will get you. But this only works when the opposing group
believes in these same nocturnal spirits.

I suspect this is a common principle of warfare that limits the casualties
of war in most societies. (jury is out as to whether we have any limiting
principles of war left in Western society - we are clearly much better at


On Thu, May 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Sounds like a fascinating topic, Dale. I hope you manage to find the
> article, because that may be another purchase for me too I think. And maybe
> there are some politicians who should read it before they invade another
> country, too,
> Andy
> Dale Cyphert wrote:
>> Mostly I lurk nowadays, but once in a while I come up with a really random
>> question that only this group could possibly answer....
>> In my travels through the literatures on  literacy, culture, and
>> distributed cognition, I once came across an article that
>> mentioned...somewhat in passing, perhaps...the situation of youth gangs
>> moving from one turf toward another.  It might have involved Italian and
>> Latino gangs in the US Northeast?
>> In any case, at one point in the story, the boys in one gang became irate
>> with the others...not because the other gang had fought, so much, but
>> because the rules of warfare had been violated.   In one neighborhood, the
>> expectation was that mothers would come out into the street, calling their
>> boys home when there seemed to be a pending escalation to real violence.
>> When these boys moved into a new area, however, the mothers failed to
>> fulfill that responsibility, and some serious injuries were sustained.
>> So, if you have a clue what, when, who this article was, I'd sure like to
>> track down the citation!  If I do have notes, they didn't pertain to this
>> little tidbit, but now I have a project that begs for this example!
>> thanks!
>> dale
>> Dale Cyphert, PhD
>> Associate Professor of Management
>> Director, Professional Readiness Program
>> College of Business Administration
>> Curris Business Building 5F
>> University of Northern Iowa
>> 1227 W. 27th Street
>> Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0125
>> (319) 273-6150
>> dale.cyphert@uni.edu
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> --
> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
> ------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/**toc/hmca20/18/1<http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1>
> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
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Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Sanford I. Berman Post-Doctoral Scholar
Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition
Department of Communication
University of California, San Diego
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