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The concept of symbolic violence was first introduced by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu to account for forms of coercion which are effected without physical force, "...gentle, invisible violence, unrecognised as such, chosen as much as undergone, that of trust, obligation, personal loyalty, hospitality, gifts, debts, piety..." (the Logic of Practice, p. 127).

In political terms, symbolic violence can also mean gunboat diplomacy.


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