The Psychology of Genocide: Perpetrators, Bystanders, and Rescuers / Edition 1

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Genocide has tragically claimed the lives of over 262 million victims in the last century. Jews, Armenians, Cambodians, Darfurians, Kosovars, Rwandans, the list seems endless. Clinical psychologist Steven K. Baum sets out to examine the psychological patterns to these atrocities. Building on trait theory as well as social psychology, he reanalyzes key conformity studies (including the famous experiments of Ash, Milgram, and Zimbardo) to bring forth a new understanding of identity and emotional development during genocide. Baum presents a model that demonstrates how people's actions during genocide actually mirror their behavior in everyday life: there are those who destroy (perpetrators), those who help (rescuers), and those who remain uninvolved, positioning themselves between the two extremes (bystanders). Combining eyewitness accounts with Baum's own analysis, this book reveals the common mental and emotional traits among perpetrators, bystanders, and rescuers, and how a war between personal and social identity accounts for these divisions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A combination of contemporary and historical examples brings Baum's thesis to life, helping to possibly explain major events of the past and guide us to a better understanding of the challenges of the present."
—Jeff Rudski, Department of Psychology, Muhlenberg College

"Steven K. Baum, the author of The Psychology of Genocide: Perpetrators, Bystanders, and Rescuers, reads widely. One cannot help but be impressed by the breadth of the material he draws on to make his case for the central role of emotional development in determining who will become a perpetrator, who will become a rescuer, and who will simply be a bystander when groups of human beings are targeted for extermination. The extent of his coverage of relevant research by social psychologists is especially admirable;..."
—Leonard S. Newman, PsycCRITIQUES

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521713924
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 1,051,569
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven K. Baum is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of What Matters Most? (2006) and From the Inside Out (2007).

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Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

Introduction 1

Prologue 9

1 Charlotte's question 16

2 A bell curve of hate? 71

3 Perpetrators 117

4 Bystanders 153

5 Rescuers 181

6 Towards an emotionally developed world 220

Index 240

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