The Identity TrapManaging Paradox in Crisis Bargaining

William A Donohue

in The Slippery Slope to Genocide

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199791743
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919222 | DOI:
The Identity TrapManaging Paradox in Crisis Bargaining

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The purpose of this chapter is to create a framework for thinking about how language themes start to degenerate into the reification of a culture that tolerates and even encourages classification and dehumanization. Understanding these language themes becomes an early warning system that signals the beginning of a genocidal spiral. This framework is termed the Identity Trap, and it demonstrates how various rhetorical conventions combine to establish a social context that builds up the speaker’s social identity while denigrating the “enemy’s” social identity, which provides the rationale for escalating conflict against that enemy. The prospects for negotiation under these circumstances require that parties avoid falling into such rhetorical Identity Traps.

Keywords: genocide; hate speech; rhetorical tropes; paradoxical communication; communication frames

Chapter.  8339 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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