By Alexander Laban Hinton, Kenneth Roth
Genocide is without doubt one of the so much urgent matters that confronts us this present day. Its dying toll is striking: over 100 million useless. due to their intimate event within the groups the place genocide occurs, anthropologists are uniquely situated to provide an explanation for how and why this mass annihilation happens and the kinds of devastation genocide motives. This flooring breaking booklet, the 1st selection of unique essays on genocide to be released in anthropology, explores a variety of situations, together with Nazi Germany, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, and Bosnia.
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Extra info for Annihilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide
Similarly, the elderly are turned into rubbish people in nursing homes where underpaid workers often drop their personal names, ignore their wishes, associate them with the impure, and treat them like objects. Such institutionalized forms of everyday violence reconstruct the subjectivity of the elderly, who, lacking the means to resist, are ultimately forced to accept their new, dehumanized status. For Scheper-Hughes, it is precisely by examining this “genocidal continuum” in the practices of everyday life that anthropologists can contribute to the understanding of genocide.
Both the Nazis and the Khmer Rouge sought to expunge the impure, but they constructed the impure in diﬀerent ways. Thus, even as the Nazis justiﬁed their destruction of the Jews and other sources of “contamination” in terms of “scientiﬁc” knowledge about race and genes, their ideology of hate also drew heavily on German notions of blood, soil, bodily aesthetics, contagion, genealogy, community, and anti-Semitism (Linke , and this volume). The Khmer Rouge, in turn, legitimated their utopian project of social engineering in terms of Marxist-Leninist “science,” which supposedly enabled the “correct and clear-sighted leadership” to construct a new society free of “contaminating” elements (Hinton, forthcoming).
26 What are these processes? Although genocide is a complex phenomenon that cannot be reduced to a uniform pattern, many genocides are characterized by common processes that make the social context in question increasingly “hot,” including socioeconomic upheaval, polarized social divisions, structural change, and eﬀective ideological manipulation (Fein ; Harﬀ and Gurr ; Kuper ). All of the cases discussed in this volume are suggestive in this regard. First, genocides are almost always preceded by some sort of socioeconomic upheaval—ranging from the epidemic diseases that devastated indigenous peoples in the Americas to the Vietnam War that wreaked havoc in Cambodia—which may generate anxiety, hunger, a loss of meaning, the breakdown of pre-existing social mechanisms, and struggles for power.
Annihilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide by Alexander Laban Hinton, Kenneth Roth