Sociology Index


Genocide is systematic killing of an entire ethnic community. Genocide may not be sudden or immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. Genocide is also called endgenocide. Genocide is intended to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of genocide the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups.

The Demographics of Genocide: Refugees and Territorial Loss in the Mass Murder of European Jewry - Manus I. Midlarsky, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University, Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 42, No. 4, (2005)
This study seeks to distinguish between instances where genocide occurred and others where it might have been expected to occur but did not.
Four analytic perspectives based on emotional reactions, class envy, prospect theory, and territoriality indicate the critical importance of loss. The theory is examined in the context of the mass murder of European Jewry including, of course, Germany and Austria, and all European German allies that allowed an indigenous genocidal impulse, willingness to comply with German genocidal policies, or an ability to resist German pressures for Jewish deportation. Italy was on a genocidal path just prior to the German occupation. The importance of loss is demonstrated not only cross-sectionally, in the comparison between the five victimizers, on the one hand, and Bulgaria and Finland, on the other, but also diachronically, in the changing behavior over time of the genocidal and perpetrating states.

Democracy, Power, Genocide, and Mass Murder 
R. J. Rummel, University of Hawaii at Manoa 
Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 39, No. 1, 3-26 (1995)
From 1900 to 1987, state, quasi-state, and stateless groups have killed in democide (genocide, massacres, extrajudicial executions, and the like) nearly 170,000,000 people. Case studies and quantitative analysis show that ethnic, racial, and religious diversity, economic development, levels of education, and cultural differences do not account for this killing. Rather, democide is best explained by the degree to which a regime is empowered along a democratic to totalitarian dimension and, second, the extent to which it is characteristically involved in war or rebellion.

Testing the Double-Genocide Thesis for Central and Southern Rwanda 
Philip Verwimp, Economics Department Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium 
Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 47, No. 4, 423-442 (2003)
Results of a research project with household-level data on the demographic impact of genocide and civil war in Rwanda are reported. The survey includes demographic and criminological data on 352 peasant households that were part of a large household survey project before the genocide. The absolute number of Hutu killed in the sample is half of the number of Tutsi killed.

Genocide: A Case for the Responsibility of the Bystander 
Arne Johan Vetlesen, Department of Philosophy, University of Oslo 
Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 37, No. 4, 519-532 (2000)
In this article, the case of Bosnia is used to raise important theoretical and practical questions concerning the role of third parties in preventing and punishing genocide. After the massacre at Srebrenica, a UN-declared `safe area', the debate over complicity in genocide on the part of UN personnel has gained particular urgency, and much of the discussion here is related to that debate. The article also draws attention to the role of intellectuals in preparing for genocide by way of ideological hate speech, a role of crucial importance in top-down orchestrated genocidal campaigns such as those seen in Rwanda and Bosnia. On the basis of the empirical material presented, it is argued that considerable responsibility resides with knowledgeable third-party bystanders to unfolding acts of genocide. The article also tries to distinguish between different kinds of bystanders, and it attempts to define and discuss what it means - and what it should imply - to be a contemporary bystander to genocidal warfare.

Gender, Genocide, and Ethnicity
The Legacies of Older Armenian American Mothers 
Margaret M. Manoogian, Ohio University, Athens 
Alexis J. Walker, Leslie N. Richards, Oregon State University, Corvallis 
Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 28, No. 4, 567-589 (2007)
Women use legacies to help family members articulate family identity, learn family history, and provide succeeding generations with information about family culture. Using feminist standpoint theory and the life-course perspective, this qualitative study examined the intergenerational transmissions that 30 older Armenian American mothers received and transmitted to succeeding generations within the sociohistorical experience of genocide. Mothers passed on legacies that included family stories, rituals/activities, and possessions. Because of multiple losses during the Armenian Genocide, they emphasized legacies that symbolized connection to family, underscored family cohesion, and accentuated ethnic identity.

Genocide as Transgression 
European Journal of Social Theory, Vol. 7, No. 1, 45-65 (2004)
The origins of genocide have been sought by scholars in many areas of human experience: politics, religion, culture, economics, demography, ideology. All these of course are valid explanations, and go a long way to getting to grips with the objective conditions surrounding genocide. Building on Roger Caillois’s anthropological analysis of ‘war as festival’, Georges Bataille’s concept of society’s ‘excess energy’, and David Emile Durkheim’s idea of ‘collective effervescence’, and connecting these terms to those used explicitly in relation to the Holocaust by Dominick LaCapra (‘scapegoating’ and the ‘carnivalesque’) and Saul Friedlnder (‘Rausch’ or ‘ecstasy’), I argue that prior to and during any act of genocide there occurs a heightening of community feeling, to the point at which this ecstatic sense of belonging permits, indeed demands, a normally forbidden act of transgression in order to ‘safeguard’ the community by killing the designated ‘threatening’ group.

Criminology and the Holocaust: Xenophobia, Evolution, and Genocide 
Augustine Brannigan 
Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 44, No. 2, 257-276 (1998)
Modern theories of crime and delinquency tend to be individualistic in their level of analysis and tend to focus on consensus crimes. The phenomenon of ethnic genocide is virtually impossible to examine within such parameters. Recent histories of the Holocaust by Browning and Goldhagen suggest that it was carried out by ordinary citizens who supported its objectives, not by dysfunctional psychopaths. Nor was it carried out by individuals intimidated by powerful authority structures. This article reviews the evidence from the new historiographies and proposes a theory of genocide based on xenophobia developed in recent accounts of evolutionary psychology.

Anthropology and Genocide in the Balkans 
An Analysis of Conceptual Practices of Power 
Thomas Cushman, Wellesley College
Anthropological Theory, Vol. 4, No. 1, 5-28. 2004 SAGE Publications
This article examines scholarly discourse on the wars in the former Yugoslavia. It focuses on relativistic arguments put forward by anthropologists and shows how such accounts mask and elide central historical realities of the conflict.

Genocide in the African Diaspora 
United States, Brazil, and the Need for a Holistic Research and Political Method 
J. H. Costa Vargas, University of Texas at Austin.
Cultural Dynamics, Vol. 17, No. 3, 267-290 (2005)
Inspired by the multidimensional concept of genocide suggested by Patterson and his collaborators in 1951, I advance an argument for the necessity of coming to terms with the deadly, often state- and society-sanctioned, yet seldom overt contemporary campaigns against peoples of African descent. Approached from various angles, genocide allows us to understand seemingly disparate phenomena as they relate to each other, contributing to the continued oppression and death of Black people in Africa and its diaspora.

Genocide and the Social Production of Immorality 
RUTH JAMIESON, Keele University, UK 
Theoretical Criminology, Vol. 3, No. 2, 131-146 (1999)
This article is an exploration of two different instances of genocide of the late 20th century—the mass rape of women in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992 (in which women constituted the primary victims) and the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 (in which women were active perpetrators). The connected objectives of the article are, first, to consider the relationship between genocide and other forms of social exclusion and, second, to explore the limits of some forms of criminological commonsense, for example in the field of victimology, and these contemporary instances of genocide.

Genocide or a Failure to Gel? Racism, History and Nationalism in Australian Talk - MARTHA AUGOUSTINOS, KEITH TUFFIN, MARK RAPLEY, Discourse & Society, Vol. 10, No. 3, (1999).
In a context of wide media attention to public debates about the social, political and epistemic entitlements of different groups within Australian society, an understanding of the rhetorical resources and the discursive work doen by differing constructions of `race', has become an important local issue.

The First Genocide: Carthage, 146 BC - Ben Kiernan, Yale University 
Diogenes, Vol. 51, No. 3, 27-39 (2004)
Some features of the ideology motivating the Roman destruction of Carthage in 146 BC have surprisingly modern echoes in 20th-century genocides. Racial, religious or cultural prejudices, gender and other social hierarchies, territorial expansionism, and an idealization of cultivation all characterize the thinking of Cato the Censor, like that of more recent perpetrators.

Women, Genocide, and Memory 
The Ethics of Feminist Ethnography in Holocaust Research 
Janet Liebman Jacobs, University of Colorado 
Gender & Society, Vol. 18, No. 2, 223-238 (2004)
This article explores the ethical dilemmas of doing a feminist ethnography of gender and Holocaust memory. In response to the conflicts the author experienced as both a participant/Jewish woman and an observer/feminist ethnographer, she engaged in a critical examination of her research methods and goals that led to an exploration into the complex moral issues that inform research on women and genocide specifically and feminist ethnographies of violence more generally. She identified three sources of methodological tension that developed during the research process: Role conflicts in the research setting, gender selectivity in studies of ethnic and racial violence, and the sexual objectification of women in academic discourse on violence and genocide.

The 'Stolen Generations' and Cultural Genocide 
The Forced Removal of Australian Indigenous Children from their Families and its Implications for the Sociology of Childhood 
ROBERT VAN KRIEKEN, University of Sydney 
Childhood, Vol. 6, No. 3, 297-311 (1999)
From around the turn of 20th century up to the 1970s, Australian government authorities assumed legal guardianship of all Indigenous children and removed large numbers of them from their families in order to `assimilate' them into European society and culture. This policy has been described as `cultural genocide', even though at the time it was presented by state and church authorities as being `in the best interests' of Aboriginal children.

Dialogue Toward Agenocide: Encountering the Other in the Context of Genocide - Samson Munn 
Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 46, No. 3, 281-302 (2006)
What modes of interaction exist between historically heinous human behavior, one’s relationship to such history, one’s identity and one’s responses to counter such behavior and its effects? Of many paths to take and levers to use to engender peace and healing, a vital element constitutes reciprocally respectful efforts at societal bridging.

Paradigms of Genocide: The Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and Contemporary Mass Destructions - ROBERT MELSON 
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 548, No. 1, (1996)
When confronted with mass death and forced deportations, the contemporary world community has often reached for the Holocaust as a paradigmatic case of genocide in order both to make sense of and to condemn current events. This article suggests that the Armenian Genocide sets a more accurate precedent than the Holocaust for current mass disasters, especially such as those in Nigeria and in the former Yugoslavia, which are the products of nationalism. Conversely, the Holocaust is a prototype for genocidal movements that transcend nationalism and are motivated by ideologies that have global scope.

Ethnic Conflict and Genocide: Reflections on Ethnic Cleansing in the Former Yugoslavia - DAMIR MIRKOVI 
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 548, No. 1, 191-199 (1996)
Yugoslav society, held together for 45 years by Communists, began to disintegrate in the 1980s. Disintegrative processes have brought in their wake the rise of nationalism as the younger generations, led by a new privileged class of technobureaucrats, could not ride any more on the worn-out ideology of self-managing socialism. The transition from nationalism to ethnic cleansing proved to be very easy and short because ethnic cleansing is not a new phenomenon in the Balkans. During World War II, both the Croatian nationalists, Ustashas, and the Serbian royalists, the Chetniks, used this genocidal method—the Ustashas, to "purify" Croatia of Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies, and the Chetniks, to "cleanse" Muslims from eastern Bosnia. In fact, it is a Balkan tradition to use genocide in order to create pure ethnic territories. This article explores the concept of ethnic cleansing in its broader meaning as cultural genocide or ethnocide and in its narrower connotation as genocidal annihilation of group members.

Impartiality and evil - A reconsideration provoked by genocide in Bosnia 
Arne Johan Vetlesen, Department of Philosophy, University of Oslo, Norway 
Philosophy & Social Criticism, Vol. 24, No. 5.
Confronted with Adolf Eichmann, evildoer par excellence, Hannah Arendt sought in vain for any 'depth' to the evil he had wrought. How is the philosopher to approach evil ? Is the celebrated criterion of impartiality ill-equipped to guide judgment when its object is evil - as exhibited, for instance, in the recent genocide in Bosnia? This essay questions the ability of the neutral 'third party' to respond adequately to evil from a standpoint of avowed impartiality.