To the extent that an individual has this dehumanizing implicit association, they are more likely to support violence against African Americans e. Section 51 xxvi and were two provisions that dehumanised Aboriginals. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to: xxvi The people of any race, other than the Aboriginal people in any state, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws.
In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a state or other part of the Commonwealth, Aboriginal natives shall not be counted. In the Commonwealth Franchise Act was passed, this categorically denied Aboriginals from the right to vote. Indigenous Australians were not allowed social security benefits e. Aged pensions and maternity allowances.
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However, these benefits were provided to other non-Indigenous Australians by the Commonwealth Government. Aboriginals in rural areas were discriminated and controlled as to where and how they could marry, work, live, and their movements were restricted. Dehumanization and dehumanized perception can occur as a result of language used to describe groups of people. Words such as migrant, immigrant, and expatriate are assigned to foreigners based on their social status and wealth, rather than ability, achievements, and political alignment. Expatriate has been found to be a word to describe the privileged, often light-skinned people newly residing in an area and has connotations which suggest ability, wealth, and trust.
Meanwhile, the word immigrant is used to describe people coming to a new area to reside and infers a much less desirable meaning.
The psychology of humanness.
Further, "immigrant" is a word that can be paired with "illegal", which harbours a deeply negative connotation to those projecting social cognition towards the other. The misuse and perpetual misuse of these words used to describe the other in the English language can alter the perception of a group in a derogatory way. A series of examinations of language sought to find if there was a direct relation between homophobic epithets and social cognitive distancing towards a group of homosexuals, a form of dehumanization.
These epithets e. In both studies, subjects were shown a homophobic epithet, its labelled category, or unspecific insult. Subjects were later prompted to associate words of animal and human connotations to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. The results found that the malignant language, when compared to the unspecific insult and categorized labels, subjects would not connect the human connotative words with homosexuals. Further, the same assessment was done to measure effects the language may have on the physical distancing between the subject and homosexuals.
Similarly to the prior associative language study, it was found that subjects became more physically distant to the homosexual, indicating the malignant language could encourage dehumanization, cognitive and physical distancing in ways that other forms of malignant language does not. In the United States of America, Americans of African ancestry were dehumanised via the classification of being deemed as a primate, not a human. The United States of America Constitution that took place in stated when collecting census data "all other persons" in reference to enslaved Africans will be counted as three-fifths of a human being.
In the s reportedly California State Police classified incidents involving young men of African ancestry as no humans involved. A California police officer who was also involved in the Rodney King beating described a dispute between an American couple with African ancestry as "something right out of gorillas in the mist". Franz Boas and Charles Darwin hypothesized that there may be an evolution process among primates. Monkeys and apes were least evolved, then savage and deformed anthropoids which referred to people of African ancestry, to Caucasians as most evolved.
Sociologists and historians often view dehumanization as essential to war. Governments sometimes represent "enemy" civilians or soldiers as less than human so that voters will be more likely to support a war they may otherwise consider mass murder. Such efforts often depend on preexisting racist, sectarian , or otherwise biased beliefs, which governments play upon through various types of media , presenting "enemies" as barbaric, as undeserving of rights, and as threats to the nation.
Alternatively, states sometimes present an enemy government or way of life as barbaric and its citizens as childlike and incapable of managing their own affairs. Such arguments have been used as a pretext for colonialism. The Holocaust during World War II and the Rwandan Genocide have both been cited as atrocities facilitated by a government sanctioned dehumanization of its citizens.
In terms of the Holocaust, government proliferated propaganda created a culture of dehumanization of the Jewish population. Crimes like lynching especially in the United States are often thought of as the result of popular bigotry and government apathy. Anthropologists Ashley Montagu and Floyd Matson famously wrote that dehumanization might well be considered "the fifth horseman of the apocalypse " because of the inestimable damage it has dealt to society.
Dehumanization can be seen outside of overtly violent conflicts, as in political debates where opponents are presented as collectively stupid or inherently evil. Several scholars have written on how dehumanization also occurs in the property takings where the government is involved in taking away individuals' property without just cause and recompense realm.
Dehumanization, as described by Professor Bernadette Atuahene, occurs when the government fails to recognize the humanity of an individual or group. American University Washington College of Law Professor Victoria Phillips relied on interview data to show that, despite the team's declared intent, most Native Americans find the use of the term " Redskins " disrespectful and dehumanizing. Regulatory property actions also dehumanize in the context of mobile trailer home parks. People who live in trailer parks are often dehumanized and colloquially referred to as " trailer trash ".
The problem is that mobile park closings are increasingly common, and—even though called "mobile" homes—many of these homes cannot move or the expense of moving them outweighs their value. University of Colorado — Denver Professor Esther Sullivan explores whether mass evictions spurred by park closings, even if legal, constitute a dignity taking. Legal scholar Lua Kamal Yuille examines whether gang injunctions qualify as dignity takings, when the dehumanization occurs through prohibitions on certain clothing based on little more than suspicion of illegal action or criminal associations.
They cannot, for example, in public wear "gang clothes", or carry "marking substances" like paint cans, pens, and other writing utensils that can be used for graffiti. Yuille argues that, although the state prevents suspected gang members from using certain property in public, this is only one small part of the taking. The more insidious yet invisible harm is the deprivation of identity property, which she defines as property that implicates how people understand themselves.
Additionally, Yuille argues that the state treats young gang members like super predators instead of like the children they, in fact, are.
Representing outgroups as animal-like is a powerful tool to delegitimize others
Consequently, the City of Monrovia has subjected suspected gang members to a dignity taking because dehumanization occurs alongside property deprivation. The propaganda model of Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky argues that corporate media are able to carry out large-scale, successful dehumanization campaigns when they promote the goals profit-making that the corporations are contractually obliged to maximise.
Non-state actors—terrorists in particular—have also resorted to dehumanization to further their cause and assuage pangs of guilt. The s terrorist group Weather Underground had advocated violence against any authority figure, and used the "police are pigs" idea to convince members that they were not harming human beings, but simply killing wild animals. Likewise, rhetoric statements such as "terrorists are just scum", is an act of dehumanization. Relatively recent history has seen the relationship between dehumanization and science result in unethical scientific research. The Tuskegee syphilis experiment and the Nazi human experimentation on Jewish people are two such examples.
In the former, Africans Americans with syphilis were recruited to participate in a study about the course of the disease.
Even when treatment and a cure were eventually developed, they were withheld from the Black participants so that researchers could continue their study. Similarly, Nazi scientists conducted horrific experiments on Jewish people during the Holocaust. This was justified in the name of research and progress which is indicative of the far reaching affects that the culture of dehumanization had upon this society.
When this research came to light, efforts were made to protect participants of future research, and currently institutional review boards exist to safeguard individuals from being taken advantage of by scientists. In a medical context, the passage of time has served to make some dehumanizing practices more acceptable, not less. While dissections of human cadavers was seen as dehumanizing in the Dark Ages see History of anatomy , the value of dissections as a training aid is such that they are now more widely accepted.
Dehumanization has been associated with modern medicine generally, and specifically, has been suggested as a coping mechanism for doctors who work with patients at the end of life. From the patient point of view, in some states in America, controversial legislation requires that a woman view the ultrasound image of her fetus before being able to have an abortion. We can use that instead of who, whom or which to refer to people, animals and things. That is more informal than who or which. However, it seems the practice of using who to refer to nonhuman animals is becoming more commonly accepted.
Anecdotal evidence also indicates that the word that is frequently used when referring to humans e. Gilquin and Jacobs examined the variance in the usage of the pronoun who with regard to nonhuman animals over the past 40 years.
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They compared grammar rules relating to the correct use of the pronoun who listed in 45 reputable sources and found that it could be acceptable to use who when speaking of nonhuman animals, although only in limited contexts. Regarding the use of that , anecdotal evidence suggests the word is being used as a replacement for who when referring to humans. This may be because grammatically correct use of that is not restricted to a particular type of target; consider as examples extracts from news reports e.
In some instances, this may be a way for writers to distance either themselves or their audience from bad news. Some examples include personal reflections of missing children e. In referring to people as that , there could be an element of dehumanization through inclusion in a broader category that includes animals and things instead of the relatively narrower category that includes just people and companion animals.
Humanness and Dehumanization
However, more research is required before a more conclusive statement can be made. Other media, such as classic literary works, are further evidence that the use of that as a human referent is pervasive and has been for some time. The phrasing of a sentence in the English language often has implications with regard to dehumanization or, conversely, to the attribution of humanness to nonhumans e. The attribution of human traits to nonhuman entities can be used purposely for effect, especially in art and literature, as first noted by Ruskin For example, a poet might write metaphorically about dancing leaves or of the cruel sea.
Similarly, anthropomorphism is defined for scientific purposes i. In an example of dehumanizing language and thinking, Khanna , p. Khanna also uses an example from J. In contrast, those killed by the police dogs are in the position of dehumanized individuals without recourse to either dignity or grace. Language use, in turn, may influence behavior Carroll, Some research on sexist language supports this view. For instance, Brooks found that female eighth-grade students in a female-biased language condition rated Occupational Therapist lower on gender appropriateness than did male students.
Chartrand, Fitzsimons, and Fitzsimons were of the opinion that attributing human traits to a nonhuman entity could result in a person unthinkingly reacting to the entity in a particular way. In their experimental study where participants were set up to think about i. In the preceding paragraphs, there is some support for the idea that language may influence attitudes to both dehumanization and attributions of humanness, and this, in turn, may affect behavior.
Gupta documented examples wherein the pronoun who attributed human traits sentience and personality to nonhuman animals foxes. She investigated the use of who in foxhunting discourse published on the Internet and found perhaps what some might consider as counterintuitive that supporters of foxhunting tended to anthropomorphize foxes more than horses or hounds. Supporters seemingly described the fox in anthropomorphic terms as a worthy opponent so as to thereby boost their own status as successful hunters.