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A Comparative Study of the My Lai and Bialystok Massacres: The Social Mechanisms of Perpetration and their Causal Determinants
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This  thesis  offers  a  comparative  study  of  the  My  Lai  massacre  perpetrated  by  American soldiers during the Vietnam in War and the  massacre in Bialystok  carried out by a police unit operating  under the Nazi regime. Using theories from social  psychology in combination witha  careful  scrutiny  of  sources  from  criminal  investigations,  it  seeks  to  elucidate  the  social mechanisms  of  perpetration  in  the  two  cases  and  explores  how  their  divergent  macro-level contexts facilitated  distinctions in the perpetrator’s behavioural patterns and motivations. The study  demonstrates  that  despite  commonalities  at  the  micro  level,  the  massacres  were organized  in  distinctive  ways,  featured  divergent  perpetrator  behavioural  patterns  andencompassed  disparities  in  the  number  of  abstainers  due  to  different  macro-level  contexts. The  thesis provides  explanations  for these case variations, and it  argues  that new insight into the phenomenon of perpetration can be gained by adopting a comparative perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Holocaust and Genocide Studies, War Crimes, Social Psychology, Perpetrator Research
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-255898OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-255898DiVA: diva2:823933
Available from: 2016-08-31 Created: 2015-06-18 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved

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