Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
This article analyses discursive and processual socialization of the masses into acts of violence during the Rwandan genocide of 1 994. The discursive aspects of the socialization include discourses of dehumanization, ethnic extremism and the dynamics of public socialization into violence and other acts of savagery. The processual dimension of the socialization refers to the violentization process. The article tries to show that the discursive and the processual aspects of socialization reinforced each other. It analyses the ideological and linguistic mechanisms mobilized in Rwanda to foment hatred and whip the masses into atrocities. The article, in addition, tries to explain the genocide through diverse social psychological theories and illustrate the interaction between the leaders' political agitation of the masses towards extermination and the perpetrators' action on the ground. The article argues that no single theory can fully explain the incomprehensible genocide since it was the result of a complex intermarriage between social, ideological and moral forces. It also examines the role of cultural and linguistic resources in the violentization process. On the basis of the analysis, the article recommends what should be done to prevent similar atrocities in Africa.
Copyright ©ESR, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 2013