Baton Rug (US). (The Conversation) Riots in Brazil, the January 6, 2021 incident, and the mass shooting at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub occurred when some groups repeatedly used dangerous language against others. This is why elected officials in the US have begun to investigate the role of language in inciting violence.
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As a social psychologist who studies dangerous language and disinformation, I think it is important for citizens, legislators, and law enforcement alike to recognize that language can incite violence between groups. In fact, there are a variety of threats in the rhetoric that some of us only use to incite violence.
They divide the society into two categories, the ingroup and the outgroup, and try to justify their actions through dangerous language. For example, recent polls indicate that 40 percent of people who rely primarily on Far South news sources believe that “true patriots” may have to resort to violence to “save” the country. Is.
Drawing on a range of scientific principles that identify the key elements that fuel conflict between groups, I have identified five basic types of threat. 1. Physical Threats – They’re going to harm us This falls into the category when one group is portrayed as threatening to physically harm or kill another group.
For example, in-groups sometimes use disease to portray the out-group as a threat to the in-group. Examples of this are the allegations made by people against Asian Americans and immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ingroups also perceive outgroups as physically aggressive or violent criminals for the same reason.
Practitioners are fond of projecting outside groups as typically aggressive towards protected or vulnerable sections of our society – women, children and the elderly in particular. Such characterization makes outgroups seem reprehensible and the act of “protecting” the vulnerable appears noble.
From time to time, in a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, different internal groups have accused Jews of so-called “bloodsucking”, which refers to the ritual killing of Christian children. Today, we see echoes of this in the Quinnan conspiracy theories that accuse liberals of child trafficking.
As a result, those who believe in QNN want to “save the children” and are willing to use violence to deal with the perceived threat. 2. Moral Threats – They are degrading our society Someone in an in-group who perceives an out-group as offensive to the cultural, political or religious values of the society, positions the out-group as a moral threat.
For example, people often target members of the LGBTQ community in such threatening ways. Some people believe that homosexuality is morally wrong. And there are those who argue that same-sex marriage is a threat to marriage itself. During the last Congress, a Republican woman wept on the floor of the House before the chamber signed the Honor of Marriage Act.
People have blamed the perceived immorality of the LGBTQ community for everything from natural disasters to terrorist attacks. And allegations that LGBTQ people are inspiring and grooming children are mainstays of political threat today.
3. Resource Threat – They are taking our resources from us Sometimes, members of the ingroup present outgroups as competitors for valuables and both compete for valuable resources. This leads to rapid increase of animosity and conflict between the groups. If the outer group gains access to the desired resource, it is taken to mean that there is nothing left for the inner group.
The most common example of this type of threat is the allegation that immigrants are “stealing our jobs.” This danger can be amplified by showing outside groups as receiving an unfair share of other resources such as education, scholarships, health care or social services.
4. Social threats – They are threats to us when members of the ingroup accuse the outgroup of usurping their social status or access to important relationships. It may be triggered by a demographic shift in the population. Alternatively, when inward members perceive their position as undesirable, they may shift the blame onto the outgroup.
5. Threat to self – these make us feel bad. Finally, the in-group sometimes feels as though its collective self-esteem is threatened by the out-group, such as when they feel that the out-group is threatening them. is defaming This can lead to thinking along the lines of “they hate us, so we hate them”.
For example, search for “Libtard” or “RepGnikon” on Twitter. But in this case, the degree to which the outgroup is perceived to engage in this humiliation is exaggerated and ignores similar behavior by the ingroup.
The greater the threat the outgroup is perceived to be, the more appropriate extreme action appears. During this, both the groups appear to be clearly divided. Several studies spanning decades of research on intergroup conflict have supported this link between perceived threat and hostility and conflict.
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