He's your typical plowshares-and-sorcery hero.
November 10, 2012 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Recommend some reading about practical pacifism and nonviolence.

I'm interested in learning about how pacifists and people committed to nonviolence navigate conflicts in everyday life—particularly in societies and situations where violence is widespread. (For example, I've heard some interesting stuff about former gang members trying to teach people how to solve problems without resorting to physical violence, for example.)

This is partly about intellectual curiosity, but mostly character research for a tabletop roleplaying game.

I am less interested about oppressed people working for change in society (my character is one of the powerful elites) than practical advice on how to argue without violence, how to respond to attacks on your person, how to talk peers out of violence, etc. Religiously motivated works are okay, but secular would be better.

I have a hard science background, but I'm willing to delve into some more demanding reading in social sciences if you have a really great book that's a must-read. To be honest, though, since it's just game research, I'll probably do better with lighter pop-level reading. Webpages, documentaries, and the like are fine, too.
posted by BrashTech to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe The Interrupters is what you're talking about when you mention the stuff you've heard about former gang members, but if you're looking for a good documentary on that subject I highly recommend it.
posted by Beardman at 11:14 AM on November 10, 2012

Nonviolent Communication hits your nail on the head: book, website. Giving it a light read will skip the terrible poetry and anecdotes and leave you with a useful toolkit. I think it'd be really interesting to read it along with any other suggestions about diplomacy, leadership etc.
posted by lokta at 11:41 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Albert Einstein institute
posted by empath at 3:22 PM on November 10, 2012

Another keyword to look up is "conflict resolution".
posted by eviemath at 3:48 PM on November 10, 2012

Maybe not quite what you are asking for, but you might want to check out On Killing.
posted by St. Sorryass at 3:55 AM on November 11, 2012

Thanks for your responses.

Thanks also to a MeFite who MeMailed me with recommendations for Getting to Yes and The Heart and Mind of the Negotiator.
posted by BrashTech at 6:35 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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