Reification And Its Effects In The Holocaust And The Rwandan Genocide

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Reification and its Effects in the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide
James D. Coyne
Virginia Tech

Throughout human history, mass killings have occurred on groups of people purely based on false stereotypes or rumors, built up aggression, power dominance, or physical attributions such as race. In the past 150 years, there has been a spike in the number of genocides, despite the culture that the killing takes place in. Therefore, it is impossible whether to deem these monstrous acts are of natural human, cultural, or sociological nature. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the causes, processes, and effects of the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide in terms of reification when comparing and contrasting the two horrific events. Additionally, elements of the logic of illogic and a doctrine of false concreteness will be discussed in an in-depth effort to uncover the mindset of these horrific atrocities.
Before being able to analyze the concepts of persuasion behind the Holocaust and Rwandan genocide, the term reification must be explained. “To reify, it to thingify,” explains Professor Weisband in his lecture on Social Groupings as Reified Categories. Although there is a great deal of definitions that can be applied to this term, one may simply outline it, in terms of this course, as to objectify, thus dehumanizing, a group of people and treat with a lack of respect due to their race. It expresses the concept of “us and them”. Additionally, a driving

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