How ethnocentrism and dehumanization contributes to war and terrorism

How ethnocentrism and dehumanization contributes to war and terrorism

Dehumanization is an incident whereby rivals perceive each other as less human and consequently not worthy of just consideration. Prolonged conflict damages relationships and makes it hard for parties to realize that they are elements of a shared human society. Such situations regularly results to feelings of deep hatred and estrangement between conflicting parties. The sterner the conflict, the more the emotional distance between the parties will broaden. This may eventually lead to moral seclusion. Those secluded are normally viewed as less significant, wicked, or criminal. Dehumanization is essentially an expansion of a less severe process of developing an enemy image of the rival. During the period of prolonged conflict, feelings of resentment, terror, and mistrust form the manner that which the parties see each other. Adversarial mindset and insights develop and parties start to attribute negative characteristics to their rival. They might end up perceiving the adversary as a wicked enemy, lacking good moral qualities, or as a dangerous monster.

On the other hand, ethnocentrism is the trend of believing that one’s tribe or culture is centrally significant and that all other tribes are measured in regard to one’s own. The ethnocentric person will measure other cultures in comparison to his or her own particular tribal group, particularly in relation to language, conduct, beliefs, and faith. These tribal differences and subdivisions serve to classify each ethnicity’s distinctive cultural identity. Ethnocentrism takes place when one ethnic group or nation positions itself at the top of an imagined hierarchy of tribes and nations and consequently allocates other cultures and nations equal or lesser value on that scale.

When certain people are stigmatized as wicked, immoral, and not totally human, the discrimination of those groups more or less turns out to be more psychologically tolerable. Restraints against violence and hostility start to vanish. Naturally, dehumanization enhances the possibility of violence and may cause a quarrel to increase uncontrollably. Once violence break over has emerged, it may appear tolerable for individuals to execute things that they would have considered morally absurd before. Parties may suppose that damaging the other party is essential, and pursue a great achievement that will cause one’s opponent to basically disappear. This kind of into-the-sea framing may result to permanent damage to relationships among the warring groups, making it more complicated to resolve their underlying troubles and consequently resulting in the loss of innocent lives.

Ethnocentrism involves both cognition and feeling. Ethnocentrism is not just a fault in ruling or a matter of educational functioning; it also involves positive and negative emotions. These feelings and mindsets relate to many groups and most members of the group. In this regard, ethnocentrism is a broad observation of social distinction, noticeable from other types of social animosity by this very generalization. While sexism is antagonism directed at a particular group, ethnocentrism refers to a moderately steady frame of mind concerning aliens generally. Ethnocentrism differs from prejudice because it has to do not only with several groups toward which the person has hostile judgments and outlooks but, equally significant, with groups toward which he is positively inclined to. Thus, when much interest is shifted from racism or anti-Semitism or other antagonism linked with a certain group, on the one side, to ethnocentrism, on the other, prejudice appears to be largely conceived.

There are various political concepts and processes that can be applied to condemn dehumanization, ethnocentrism, and other kinds of animosities. Political realism supposes that political principles, like society generally, are directed by objective regulations that are derived from human character. For the purpose of developing the general public, it is essential to comprehend the regulations in which the general public lives. The function of these regulations being resistant to partialities, men will confront them when risking being disappointed.

Realism believes in the impartiality of the regulations of politics but must also consider the likelihood of developing a logical theory that reveals, however faultily and inequitably, these objective regulations are. Realism believes also in the likelihood of distinctiveness in politics involving authenticity and view. Realism involves facts and impartially supported by substantiation and illuminated by grounds, and what is just a one-sided judgment, separated from the truth as they are and knowledgeable of injustice and wishful thinking. An isocratic kind of government can also assist in condemning dehumanization. This is due to the fact that all people will have equal powers and nobody will be perceived as less important.

If there will be a success in sustaining multiculturalism, there is a need to build up an ethnically sensitive frame of reference and mode of action. In order to help people move from an ethnocentric exclusive attitude to a culturally sensitive technique, it is necessary to illuminate what is meant by cultural relativism. The theory of cultural relativity does not mean that because the members of some savage ethnic group are permitted to behave in a certain manner that this fact gives intellectual warrant for such conduct in all groups. Cultural relativity means, in contrast, that the suitability of any positive or negative practice must be assessed in relation to how this practice fits with other group behavior.