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|Title:||The Role of Humiliation in Collective Political Violence|
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
|Abstract:||A humiliating event can generate powerful emotions that can become part of a group’s identity. The need for vengeance can erupt into violence decades later, even across generations, especially in situations where physical force is associated with respect or status. Humiliation is a neglected area of the violence literature, yet has the power to turn insult into retribution, and indignation into fury. When humiliation takes the form of extreme degradation, then the resulting fury washes away the shame of helplessness. I take the psychoanalytical theories of child development, social trauma, demonisation of the enemy and the entitlements of victimhood and show how they combine with humiliation to yield violence. Humiliation also interferes with the mourning process, making it difficult to come to terms with loss and leads to an obsession with the past events. Violence against a humiliator is usually paid back in the same currency, so a humiliated people will tend to humiliate their oppressors. Political leaders can manipulate this need for revenge, and if they have personal narcissistic tendencies will merge their personal need to avoid humiliation with that of society at large, potentially embarking on unnecessary conflicts. In societies where security or status relies on a reputation of toughness or a credible threat of violence, any potential challenge or insult must be confronted aggressively to avoid humiliation. These ideas are brought together in an analysis of Israeli Palestinian conflict in Gaza. Here two societies, each having undergone deep trauma and humiliation, remain locked in violent conflict. The thesis suggests that the daily humiliations of the people of Gaza helps to build a pool of resentful young men and women, and that this becomes a fertile recruitment ground for resistance organisations. Retaliation against aggression results in deeper humiliation and the cycle of violence continues.|
|Description:||Master of Arts (by research)|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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