Structural violence refers to less direct, more pervasive, and sometimes even intentional or at least"invisible" harm caused by the very arrangements and institutions of society. Paul Farmer takes the concept of structural violence to be:
"sinful social structures characterized by poverty and steep grades of social inequality, including racism and gender inequality. Structural violence is violence exerted systematically - that is, indirectly - by everyone who belongs to a certain social order: hence the discomfort these ideas provoke in a moral economy still geared to pinning praise or blame on individual actors. In short, the concept of structural violence is intended to inform the study of the social machinery of oppression."
(Paul Farmer,"An Anthropology of Structural Violence," Current Anthropology 45, no.3 (2004): 307)
Victims of structural violence can be patient for only so long. Even Gandhi's nonviolent movement saw some cracked heads. Kenneth Boulding (" Stable Peace", Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978), an expert of violence and nonviolence, explains that nonviolence has both positive and negative sides. Negative nonviolence is merely the cessation of violence: I am hitting you and I stop hitting you, we are now in a state of nonviolence, although you will still be in pain, neither of us may be happy, and no problems may have been resolved. Positive nonviolence is much more; he describes it as "a condition of good management, orderly resolution of conflict, harmony associated with mature relations, gentleness and love." Let's see what prevails in the coming year.