Rhetoric and Society in the Context of Rwanda's Genocide Research Paper

Rhetoric and Society in the Context of Rwanda's Genocide
An examination of the societal rhetoric that caused the break down the links among Hutus and Tutsis, thereby pitting the two social groups against each other.
# 147738 | 4,239 words | 13 sources | APA | 2008
Published on Jun 24, 2011 in Ethnic Studies (Conflict) , Ethnic Studies (Africa) , History (African)

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This paper focuses on the genocidal rhetoric in Rwanda, which targeted three particular aspects of the Hutu-Tutsi relationship in order to facilitate the outbreak of genocide. The paper explains that the destructive rhetoric focused primarily on a racial prejudice widespread in the Rwandan population that derived its potency from a specific colonial history; also, the rhetoric effectively exploited the various insecurities of the majority Hutus by starkly contrasting their past and present vis-a-vis the Tutsis. The paper notes that the instigators gave a supposedly objective and historical turn to their rhetorical portrayal of the ethnic conflict by invoking the original claim of the Hutus to the Rwandan land, which was particularly effective given the country's economic and political travails. The paper reaches the conclusion that the rhetoric employed during and after the carnage was seen as just another tool used to further the ends of genocide; thus, rhetoric emerged as a verbal counterpart to the machete.

From the Paper:

"The literature on Rwanda's genocide is fairly recent and by no means conclusive. This is understandable as the occurrence in question is itself fairly fresh and its effects on the Rwandan state, society, and the collective memory and behavior of its people have only just begun to unfurl. However, there exists a sizeable body of primary and secondary material on the genocide. This comprises testimonies by survivors, their personal but more informal accounts, documentary evidence from television and film productions and a body of burgeoning research by scholars of history, political science, anthropology and other social sciences. I have chosen to lay greater emphasis on this secondary material for the purposes of my research. This is not only an effort to avoid methodological complexities and considerations when handling raw anthropological data, but also an attempt to build on the knowledge of researchers who have drawn their own conclusions from a set of primary research matter taken as given here. Consequently, this endeavor favors a particular view of the way rhetoric was employed as a means to certain ends."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Barth, F. (1969) "Introduction", in Barth, F. (ed.) Ethnic groups and Boundaries, London: Allen & Unwin.
  • Bartov, O. Mirrors of Destruction 1st ed. Oxford University Press: New York, 2000.
  • Des Forges, A. "The Ideology of Genocide". A Journal of Opinion 23(2) (1995): 44-47
  • Fein, H. Genocide: a sociological perspective 1st ed. Sage Publications: London, 1993.
  • Heusch L. D. "Rwanda: Responsibilities for a Genocide". Anthropology Today 11(4) (1995): 3-7.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Rhetoric and Society in the Context of Rwanda's Genocide (2011, June 24) Retrieved April 12, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/rhetoric-and-society-in-the-context-of-rwanda-genocide-147738/

MLA Format

"Rhetoric and Society in the Context of Rwanda's Genocide" 24 June 2011. Web. 12 April. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/research-paper/rhetoric-and-society-in-the-context-of-rwanda-genocide-147738/>