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The Psychology of Genocide
Perpetrators, Bystanders, and Rescuers

$90.00 (P)

  • Date Published: July 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521886314

$ 90.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Genocide has tragically claimed the lives of over 262 million victims in the last century. Jews, Armenians, Cambodians, Darfurians, Kosovons, 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, Millgram and Zimbardo) to bring forth an understanding of identity and emotional development during genocide. Baum presents a model that demonstrates how people's actions during genocide actually mirror their behaviour in everyday life: there are those who destruct (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.

    • Examines genocide from a social psychological perspective, considering both social forces and personality traits
    • The author combines academic knowledge with his experiences as a clinical psychologist
    • Features interviews with genocide survivors
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "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

    • Date Published: July 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521886314
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 15 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Charlotte's question
    2. A bell curve of hate?
    3. Perpetrators
    4. Bystanders
    5. Rescuers
    6. Towards an emotionally developed world.

  • Author

    Steven K. Baum, University of New Mexico
    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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