Moral Universes of Torturers and Murderers

Martha K. Hugginsv, Mika Haritos-Fatouros and Philip G. Zimbardo

in Violence Workers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780520234468
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928916 | DOI:
Moral Universes of Torturers and Murderers

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This chapter focuses on violence workers' retrospective social control moralities about their work. It explains that the moral universes of these workers were shaped during the military period by national security ideologies and then nurtured by occupational insularity and personal isolation. Thus, their moral universes have been restructured in the present to render atrocity justifications compatible with Brazil's postmilitary sociopolitical climate. The chapter identifies the strategies of violence workers for explaining and excusing atrocity. These include diffusing responsibility, blaming individuals, citing a just cause, and asserting that professionalism had correctly guided their and other's violence.

Keywords: violence workers; social control moralities; moral universes; occupational insularity; personal isolation; Brazil

Chapter.  6144 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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