Essay Example on Dehumanization and Infra-Humanization

Published: 2022-05-09
Essay Example on Dehumanization and Infra-Humanization
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Social psychology
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1782 words
15 min read

What Is Dehumanization?

Dehumanization is the process of psychological where the enemy is demonized, thus made appear as less of a human thus not worth humane treatment. The opponents of dehumanization have a view towards each other as less deserving considerations of morals. As a result, this may lead to more war crimes, genocide, violations of human rights and violence. Dehumanization is normally a by extension of little intense creation of an image of enemies of all parties involved procedure. In the course of protracted conflicts, fear, anger and distrust feelings mold the means of perception of parties towards each other. Different perceptions alongside attitudes of adversities are generated, and there is an initiation of negative traits attributes of parties towards their opponents. Views towards their opponents as bad enemies, with moral virtues that are deficient, as well as venous and dangerous, thus consider them like warlike monsters. The image of an enemy created is a stereotype that is negative whereby the groups opposing have views towards each other as evil, in one's own side comparison, which they view to be good. The images developed created a stem for group's aspiration to identity and an urge to compare the virtues and attributes that are distinct to one's group in regards to the voices of other groups. On the other hand, the members of the ordinary group become regarded as neutral, therefore are innocent and become a victim of circumstances when their hideous monster is superior and become their leaders.

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Dehumanization may be facilitated by deindividualization. This is a condition where a person is viewed to belong to a specific group or category of people other than being an individual. The person deindividuated appear to be like less fully human, they are rather seen as fewer community norms less protected against aggression more than the individuated ones. This condition facilitates the easy contentious moves rationale or one's opponent's severe actions. Sincedehumanization is the complete humanness denial to others, which results in the suffering and cruelty that accompanies it, there exist domains of dehumanization that models it. Such models include race and ethnicity, gender biases, abilities and disabilities of the people, disengagement and exclusion of morals, technology levels and forms of education (Haslam, 2006). Such models facilitate a platform for the dehumanization through the practice of discrimination which forms social classes in the community, which later yields to this social norm.

Dehumanization can be traced back early during the practice of slavery trade, whereby specific communities and social groups were targeted and are still in practice up to date. Dehumanization is caused and influenced by a number of reasons such as existing form of leadership, education trends and religious teachings. There are current forms of leadership that are dictatorial that strips off the fundamental rights of the citizens, rendering them as voiceless thus undermine the human qualities. In addition to this, there are certain religious doctrines that trigger hatred and enormity towards other communities (Viki, Zimmerman & Ballantyne 2007). For instance, some false doctrines teach some sections of Islam community that Christianity is evil. As a result, they start terrorizing people of Christian associated communities, brutally killing through the constant Jihad bombings, abductions, and attacks. It is not arguable that dehumanization creates a jeopardy for certain stigmatized communities, rendering them less human and morally inferior. It creates a way for genocides, violence, and chaos alongside war crimes, for example as witnessed both world wars and the Jews dehumanization that caused the death of millions of people and destruction of property.

What is infra-humanization?

Infra-humanization is the people's tendency to view persons in groups as less of humans. It is the perception by an in-group that another outgroup is less human. Therefore, Infra-humanizing groups comprise of less human considering of outgroups thus view them as animal-like in comparison to the in-group, which have views like more of fully human. The phenomenon of infra-humanization has behavioral substantial consequences in daily life that restrict the peaceful coexistence among groups. A Belgian psychologist by name Jacques-Philippe Leyens made an introduction of the term infrahumanization. Leyens argues that individuals have expertise in the humanity break down into social categories, which plays an important role in the environment understanding. According to him, there is a rise in infrahumanisation when individuals have different on the essential difference in the ingroup and outgroup and reserve the human essence accordingly for the group and its outgroup is denied. Assertions on arbitrary different social categories defining boundaries meant that there may be dynamics in social consensus. For instance, there may be a change over time of the definition of the group, composition, border, and legal status. In as much as there are frequent arbitrarily formation of groups, there is rarely recognition of the people's arbitrary nature. For instance, in the European community construction, there is the resistance of the European Union umbrella by most people since they fear it may cause shame towards the nation as well as its sovereignty.

The experienced arbitrariness 'negation is the best example of ethnocentrism at the group membership level. Ethnocentric refers to the view of the superiority of one's group by definition on a number of dimensions and that there is lack of fundamental outgroups characteristics to be contrasted to an in-group. Anthropologists Levi-Strauss alongside political scientist Sumner illustrated ethnocentrism by noting that anthroponyms are used by the primitive societies. Medin made the contribution of noting that the essential notion is new in psychology relatively in general, whereas Rothbart & Taylor added that it was more specific in social psychology. Essentialism refers to the people's belief as opposed by contingencies, to be as they are by substance, which meant that there are humanity discontinuities convictions. It is totally opposite to the concept of groups as constructions of society to believe essence explains group differences. The result of historical accidents are countries and may undergo dynamics, that is, a likelihood of reorganization of professions; an invention of races to dominion justification and taking shape of religions like gesticulating amebas. Essence can have a basis on language as well as religion. According to French sociologists by name Bourdieu, groups are not only typically special essences invested -absurdity racist considered- but also normally essentialist beliefs unaware. A description of essential beliefs was made as this "belief in essentialism is not disturbed by an inability to specify the exact nature of an essence... Although the essence of a ... the category is only vaguely understood, people may not be deterred from assuming it exists" (Rothbart & Taylor, 1992, pp. 18-19).

It is postulated that there is believe that outgroups as they understand themselves, are less human: outgroups would be viewed in terms of humanity as inferior to ingroups (Leyens et al., 2000), in an approach of a broad perspective of group relation by research of the human essence to the all social groups. The human essence operationalization and definition question makes a rise to choice. Kagan (2004) begins by noting that an object can be described in two ways in his article "The Uniquely Human in Human Nature". It can be described "by listing its features, as manufacturers do when they provide a description of the parts of an assembly- required crib; or by comparing the object with one of a related category, as parents do when they tell their child that a zebra has stripes but a horse does not. Most answers to the question, what is human nature? Adopt this second strategy" (Kagan,2004, p. 77). The human essence can be conceptualized as an essence characteristics possessed not species shared.

Perception of people as their group possessing more human characteristics uniquely than an outgroup can be referred to as the infra-humanized or subhumanization. In contrast, an outgroup dehumanization implies that members seize to be humans any longer. It is human deprivation completely that explains the reason for dehumanization use in extreme cases like equipped conflicts, whereas the rest are not considered as humans but objects (Bar-Tal, 1989; Staub, 1989). Dehumanization causes exclusion of morals thus people are no longer value protected for example by morality, thus are in agony from immoral restraints actors. Infra-humanization diverges from dehumanization in both intensity and qualitative nature terms. Severe conflicts are not necessarily required by humanness differences (Haslam 2006). He shows dehumanization term in distinguishing two terms of it. He shows an animalistic dehumanization in the infra-humanization in the sense that uniquely human people are the same as animals. Otherwise, infra-humanization may consider people more of animals than humans. He makes articulation of mechanistic dehumanization known as human nature that is incomplete, as people appear to be more of machines than being total humans. A certain element of human nature that is essential is removed by mechanistic dehumanization, rendering them inflexible, passive and emotionally cold. Haslam discovers that attributes of people to themselves a greater personality trait of human nature degree than to the common ingroup member. For example, this distinction does not illustrate for human traits that are unique but that is unsurprising if an intergroup scenario is non-interpersonal one.

Infra-humanization and mechanistic dehumanization can be complemented to each other. This is according to the observation made by Haslam et al (in press, pp. 6-7), "The uniquely human sense reflects an Enlightenment view of humanness, in which acquired attributes of refinement and rationality are prominent. The human nature sense represents a more Romantic view, emphasizing untrammeled emotion, hidden depths, heart, vitality, and the humanity of children." In the total absence of humanity sense, there is not the only distinction for infra-humanization from dehumanization, but at an outgroup hate and ingroup love variance for the infra-humanization (Brewer, 1999).both scenarios are frequently associated but different to each other. Infra-humanization is irreducible to either of the dual phenomena but, in contrast, it can be theorized to be comprised of both. There is a correspondence of infra-humanization to a movement of the two. On either side, it plays the significant role in ingroup's pride and, in contrast, it reduces the worth of outgroup.


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Haslam,N.(2006).Dehumanization:An integrative review.Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 252-264.

Kagan, J. (2004). The uniquely human in human nature. Daedalus, 133, 77-88.

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Leyens, J. et al.(2000). The emotional side of prejudice: The role of secondary emotions. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4, 186-197

Rothbart, M., & Taylor, M. (1992). Category labels and social reality: Do we view social categories as natural kinds? In G. Semin & F. Fiedler (Eds.),...

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