Entangled Histories: Reflecting on Concepts of Coloniality and Postcoloniality
The theory of violence that Georges Bataille elaborated during the 1930s, under the impact of ethnology at that time, does not receive attention in the current sociology of violence. Nevertheless, Bataille stressed two ideas that are worth considering by historians or social scientists who actually examine physical violence. On the one hand, Bataille did not discuss violence as an instrumental means; but rather portrayed it as an act in which people go beyond themselves in order to find their self beyond their own limits. Thus violence is regarded as a transgressive attitude. On the other hand, referring to the emotions that the view of violence provoke in our minds, Bataille discussed in which ways the narrators of violence inscribe themselves into the narration of violence. This text comments on these ideas, while asking about their usefulness for today’s sociology of violence and its relationship to anthropology.