When understanding identity a ‘solitarist approach is, in general, a very efficient way of misunderstanding nearly everyone in the world.’ As Amartya Sen explains, a single-minded ‘perception of oneness with our respective “civilizations”[sic]’ disregards the multiple and complex identities that belong to each human being. Sen states ‘it must also be recognized that reductionist cultivation of singular identities has indeed been responsible for a good deal of what we call “engineered bloodshed” across the world.’ History has demonstrated how a particular group identity becomes a target in war, for example, the Jews were persecuted during the Second World War, but it should be noted that before the war, 80% of the Jews were also German citizens. Furthermore, Sen advocates for a deeper understanding of the multiplicities of identities to combat the integration of violence geared toward the cultivated singularity.
When conflict arises the identities of the opposing groups can become a target for attack. Neal Ascherson, declares that ‘war can damage two different, though related, types of identity: a social identity belonging to people within their community, and a collective or group identity which has been constructed around “high art” , considered to constitute a national heritage.’ Benedict Anderson describes modern nationalism as an imagined community, where although each person may not know one another in a nation-state, they share a common identity that is