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Understanding Genocide

Abstract:
Abstract:

This essay is intended for teachers. It is not seen as simply setting out the history of the genocide in Rwanda; that has been done elsewhere. Instead, this article addresses four conceptual fields associated with the genocide, and asks two questions of them: how do these issues become important in understanding the genocide, and how does understanding the genocide illuminate these themes? The themes explored include ethnicity, outside influences, gender issues, and ecological issues. None of these issues are unique to Rwanda; therefore, there is a danger in “distancing” genocide to some remote, “exotic” locale: it has occurred in North America, Europe, and Asia, as well as Africa. Because it results from the conjunction of influences and actions widely present in the world today, genocide needs to be addressed direcdy, and understood, not neglected. This article is intended as a step in this process.

Résumé:

Cet article est destiné aux enseignants. Son but n'est pas de faire l'historique du génocide Rwandais; cela a été déjà fait. Par contre cet article examine quatre champs conceptuels liés à la notion de génocide et soulève deux questions: comment ces concepts deviennent -ils importants pour une compréhension du génocide et en quoi cette compréhension éclaire-t-elle à son tour ces concepts? Les thèmes abordés ici sont les suivants: l'ethnicité, les influences exogènes, les distinctions sexuelles, et les problèmes écologiques. Etant donné qu'aucun de ces problèmes n'est exclusivement Rwandais, il s'avère par conséquent dangereux de “reléguer” le génocide en un lieu “exotic”. Il y a en effet eu génocide en Amérique du North, en Europe, en Asie, de même qu'en Afrique. Etant donné que le génocide est le fait combiné d'influences et d'actions largement présentes dans le monde d'aujourd'hui, il s'avère donc nécessaire non pas de négliger le génocide, mais de l'attaquer de front. Tel est l'objectif de cet article.

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African Studies Review
  • ISSN: 0002-0206
  • EISSN: 1555-2462
  • URL: /core/journals/african-studies-review
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