The Formation And Trajectory Of Communal Violence

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Communal violence can be defined as a form of conflict between ethnic groups, where solidarity is felt for one’s own group and opposition towards other groups (Myers and Horowitz, 2002). The formation and trajectory of communal violence holds a number of similarities with the way that terrorists are trained. Both incorporate motivations for violence which are provoked by economic and political events. Secondly, motives for violence are often ecsasperated by ideological goals which are often based around distortions of reality. Psychological explanations for intra-group hatred and conflict can to explain how and why humans can act in this way.
In the training of terrorists, the motives behind the teachings are often driven by political and
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Here, we have examples of how the drive for political and economic power presents itself as a defined goal and a justification for executing violence towards a hated group.
It is in our human nature to assign stereotypes to particular ethnic groups and negative stereotypes provide the foundations for such violence to occur. Hoffmann (1986) suggests stereotypes are “cognitive constructs created out of a kernel of truth and then distorted beyond reality”. Such stereotypes can act as the drivers for violence. Similarly, when terrorists are trained, they are taught hatred towards opposing groups. The terrorist notebooks revealed that students received specific lessons on who should die. For example, students learnt to oppose Uzbekistans rulers, who were described as being betrayers of faith. Teachings about opposing groups appear to be based on distortions of reality, as the writer claims that the teachers relatively uneducated. Thus, it appears in both cases, a generalised view of the enemy often acts as a driver for violence, in addition to solidarity being felt for one’s own group.
Whilst negative stereotypes may provide the foundations for hatred towards an opposing group, communal violence can often be driven by myths which promote utopian fantasies. This often arises from ancient myths which are projected a current situation. For example, in
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