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Discuss the role of perceptions of 'otherness' in 'ethnic cleansing' - Essay Example

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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date Ethnic Cleansing and the Essence of the ‘Other’ Ethnic cleansing is an extension of a problem within the human race where there is a need to differentiate between identities of cultures through targeting differences…
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Discuss the role of perceptions of otherness in ethnic cleansing
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Discuss the role of perceptions of 'otherness' in 'ethnic cleansing'

Download file to see previous pages... In most cases, this includes dehumanizing that culture as well. The concept of the ‘other’ is central to the development of enough hatred to believe that ethnic cleansing is not only necessary, but feasible for one set of humans to commit against another. In order to create a belief system that can include ethnic cleansing as a solution for conflicts between cultures, a sense of the ‘other’ must be developed so that a belief in the dehumanization of the opposing culture diminishes any sense of committing murder against a fellow human being. According to Dirven, ethnic cleansing comes as a result of “abuses of cognitive processes (that) lead to atrocities against humanity beyond the imagination of most of us” (115). Cognitive semantics and the use of external symbols to create unity are also used in order to create a sense of the ‘other’. Those who are unified under a focused set of beliefs use the concept of those who are outside of those beliefs to create the sense of the ‘other’, the group that does not identify with the same belief systems. Dirven goes on to say that “Features or attributes of the so-called ‘outsiders’ may then be made cognitively significant through exaggerated contrast to the valued manners or behaviours of the newly identified ‘inside’ group” (114). ...
They have an overpowering emotional and non-rational quality”. The nature of the need to belong is balanced by the need to identify those who do not belong. It is the nature of the individual to bond and create mutual ‘others’ that provide contrast to the superiority of their own cultural group. In doing this, the defined characteristics of the ‘other’ provide support for why a group will find reasons to isolate away from other groups and create conflict to assert their continued superiority. These methods can be varied, but one of the worst is through the policies that involve ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing involves two different concepts. Ethnicity traits that identify a group are combined with cultural traits. Groups are identified by both their physical manifestations of difference and their cultural manifestations through systems of belief. The difference between ethnicity and culture can be defined by the idea that one is involuntary and the other is voluntary. One is through physical attributes that are not a matter of control or choice. The other is through choosing to bond with others in a formed group (Cohen and Stone 67). The differences between the two are cause for different types of conflict and the line is not always considered clearly drawn. Therefore, if a person of certain ethnic attributes joins a culture that no longer associates them with the belief systems of their ethnic cultural group, this may not prevent them from being included. Joining a cultural group without ethnic markers that identify an individual with that group will also not create a safe place for an individual. The example ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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