Denying the other: The forms of dehumanization

Author/s Chiara Volpato
Publishing Year 2013 Issue 2013/2 Language Italian
Pages 18 P. 311-328 File size 275 KB
DOI 10.3280/PU2013-002012
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Dehumanization is one of the main strategies to delegitimize the other, to exclude him/her from the circle of those who are considered human, justifying measures of extreme cruelty. There are animalistic and mechanistic forms of dehumanization, which it may also take the form of demonization, biologization, objectification, and invisibility. After a brief review of the psycho-social studies on dehumanization, the present work focuses on the dehumanization of Jews in the Fascist propaganda through the analysis of images that appeared in La Difesa della Razza ("The Defense of the Race"), an Italian magazine published from August 1938 to June 1943 with the aim to convey racist and anti-Semitic ideas to the Italian population.

Keywords: Dehumanization, racism, anti-Semitism, objectification, propaganda

  1. Allport G.W. (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. New York: Addison-Wesley (trad. it.: La natura del pregiudizio. Firenze: La Nuova Italia, 1973).
  2. American Psychological Association (2010). Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. Washington: APA. Internet:
  3. Andrighetto L., Volpato C. & Baldissarri C. (2013). (Still) Modern Times: Evidence of objectification in the working domain (Manoscritto inviato per pubblicazione).
  4. Bandura A. (1991). Social cognitive theory of moral thought and action. In: Kurtines W.M. & Gewirtz J.L., editors, Handbook of Moral Behavior and Development: Theory, Research and Applications. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1991, Vol. 1, pp. 71-129 (trad. it.: Teoria socialcognitiva del pensiero e dell’azione morale. Rassegna di Psicologia, 1996, 13, 1: 23-92).
  5. Bandura A. (1999). Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3, 3: 193-209.
  6. Bandura A., Underwood B. & Fromson M.E. (1975). Disinhibition of aggression through diffusion of responsibility and dehumanization of victims. Journal of Research in Personality, 9: 253-269.
  7. Bar-Tal D. (1989). Delegitimization: The extreme case of stereotyping and prejudice. In: Bar- Tal D., Graumann C.F., Kruglanski A.W. & Stroebe W., editors, Stereotyping and Prejudice. Changing conceptions. New York: Springer, 1989, pp. 169-182
  8. Bartky S.L. (1990). Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression. New York: Routledge
  9. Bianchi E. (2011). Omnis anima vivens: la salvezza delle creature. In: Dionigi I., a cura di, Animalia. Milano: Rizzoli, 2011, pp. 25-42.
  10. Calogero R.M., Tantleff-Dunn S. & Thompson J.K. (2010). Self Objectification in Women: Causes, Consequences, and Direction for Research and Practice. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association
  11. Capozza D. & Volpato C. (2004). Le intuizioni psicosociali di Hitler. Un’analisi del Mein Kampf. Bologna: Pàtron
  12. Cassata F. (2008). “La difesa della razza”. Politica, ideologia e immagini del razzismo fascista. Torino: Einaudi
  13. Chamayou G. (2010). Les chasses à l’homme. Paris: La fabrique éditions (trad. it.: Le cacce all’uomo. Storia e filosofia del potere cinegetico. Roma: Manifestolibri, 2010).
  14. Dal Lago A. (1999). Non-persone. L’esclusione dei migranti in una società globale. Milano: Feltrinelli
  15. Dal Lago A. & Quadrelli E. (2003). La città e le ombre. Milano: Feltrinelli
  16. Dionigi I. (2011). Res publica naturalis: animali politici. In: Dionigi I., a cura di, Animalia. Milano: Rizzoli, 2011, pp. 51-65
  17. Douglas M. (2002). Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concept of Pollution and Taboo. London: Routledge (trad. it.: Purezza e pericolo. Un’analisi dei concetti di contaminazione e tabù. Bologna: Il Mulino, 2003).
  18. Durante F., Volpato C. & Fiske S.T. (2010). Using the stereotype content model to examine group depictions in Fascism: An archival approach. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40: 465-483. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.637
  19. Faloppa F. (2004). Parole contro. La rappresentazione del “diverso” nella lingua italiana e nei dialetti. Milano: Garzanti
  20. Faloppa F. (2011). Razzisti a parole (per tacer dei fatti). Bari: Laterza
  21. Fanon F. (1961). Les damnés de la terre. Paris: Maspéro (trad. it.: I dannati della terra. Prefazione di Jean Paul Sartre. Torino: Einaudi, 1962)
  22. Fredrickson B.L. & Roberts T.A. (1997). Objectification theory. Toward understanding women’s lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 2: 173-206. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00108.x
  23. Fredrickson B.L., Roberts T.A., Noll S.M., Quinn D.M. & Twenge J.M. (1998). That swimsuit becomes you: Sex differences in self-objectification, restrained eating, and math performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75: 269-284. DOI: 10.1037/h0090332
  24. Goff P.A., Eberhardt J.L., Williams M.J. & Jackson M.C. (2008). Not yet human: Implicit knowledge, historical dehumanization, and contemporary consequences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 2: 292-306. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.94.2.292
  25. Haslam N. (2006). Dehumanization: An integrative review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 3: 252-264. DOI: 10.1207/s15327957pspr1003_4
  26. Haslam N., Loughnan S., Kashima Y. & Bain P. (2008). Attributing and denying humanness to others.EuropeanReviewofSocialPsychology,19:55-85. DOI: 10.1080/10463280801981645
  27. Hitler A. (1925). Mein Kampf (trad. it.: Mein Kampf: la mia battaglia. Milano: Bompiani, 1934).
  28. Hooks G. & Mosher C. (2005). Outrages against personal dignity: Rationalizing abuse and torture in the war on terror. Social Forces, 83, 4: 1627-1646. DOI: 10.1353/sof.2005.0068
  29. Jahoda G. (1999). Images of Savages: Ancient Roots of Modern Prejudice in Western Culture. London: Routledge
  30. James-Raoul D. (2012). Du monstre féminin à la femme monstrueuse: la naissance de la sorcière dans la littérature narrative du Moyen Age. In: James-Raoul D. & Kuon P., editors, Le monstrueux et l’humain. Bordeaux: Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 2012, pp. 85-103
  31. Kant I. (1790). Die Metaphysik der Sitten. Berlin: Heimann (trad. it.: Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi. Pavia: Mattei Speroni, 1910; Bari: Laterza, 2010).
  32. Kelman H.C. (1973). Violence without moral restraint: Reflection on the dehumanization of victims and victimizers. Journal of Social Issues, 29, 4: 25-61. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1973.tb00102.x
  33. Le Bras-Chopard A. (2000). Le zoo des philosophes. De la bestialisation à l’exclusion. Paris: Plon
  34. Leyens J.P., Paladino M.P., Rodriguez-Torres R., Vaes J., Demoulin S., Rodriguez-Perez A. & Gaunt R. (2000). The emotional side of prejudice: The attribution of secondary emotions to ingroups and outgroups. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4, 2: 186-197. DOI: 10.1207/S15327957PSPR0402_06
  35. Leyens J.P., Demoulin S., Vaes J., Gaunt R. & Paladino M.P. (2007). Infra-humanization: The wall of group differences. Social Issues and Policy Review, 1, 1: 139-172. DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-2409.2007.00006.x
  36. Lindqvist S. (1992). Utrota varenda jävel. Stockholm: Albert Bonniers Förlag (trad. it.: Sterminate quelle bestie. Milano: Ponte alle Grazie, 2000).
  37. MacKinnon C. (1989). Toward a Feminist Theory of the State. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  38. MacKinnon C.A. (2007). Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (trad. it.: Le donne sono umane? Bari: Laterza, 2012).
  39. Marx K. (1844 [1932]). Ökonomisch-philosophische Manuskripte aus dem Jahre 1844 (trad. it.: Manoscritti economico-filosofici del 1844. Torino: Einaudi, 1968).
  40. Merskin D. (2004). The construction of Arabs as enemies: Post-September 11 discourse of George W. Bush. Mass Communication & Society, 7, 2: 157-175. DOI: 10.1207/s15327825mcs0702_2
  41. Moradi B. & Huang Y.-P. (2008). Objectification theory and psychology of women: A decade of advances and future directions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, 4: 377-398. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2008.00452.x
  42. Moshman D. (2007). Us and them: Identity and genocide. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 7, 2: 115-135. DOI: 10.1080/15283480701326034
  43. Nussbaum M.C. (1999). Sex & Social Justice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press
  44. O’Brien G.V. (2003). Indigestible food, conquering hordes, and waste materials: Metaphors of immigrants and the early immigration restriction debate in the United States. Metaphor and Symbol, 18, 1: 33-47. DOI: 10.1207/S15327868MS1801_3
  45. Opotow S. (1990). Moral exclusion and injustice. Journal of Social Issues, 46, 1: 1-20. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1990.tb00268.x
  46. Papadaki L. (2007). Sexual objectification: From Kant to contemporary feminism. Contemporary Political Theory, 6, 3: 330-348. DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300282
  47. Papadaki L. (2010). What is objectification? Journal of Moral Philosophy, 7, 1: 16-36. DOI: 10.1163/174046809X12544019606067
  48. Pérez J.A., Moscovici S. & Chulvi B. (2007). The taboo against group contact: Hypothesis of Gypsy ontologization. British Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 2: 249-272. DOI: 10.1348/014466606X111301
  49. Ravenna M. (2013). Come mai nel discorso sulla Shoah è diffusa l’idea che gli ebrei si siano lasciati condurre alla morte come pecore al macello? Un’analisi psicosociale (Manoscritto inedito, inviato alla Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia per una possibile pubblicazione).
  50. Ravenna M. & Roncarati A. (2008). Delegittimazione degli ebrei nella stampa fascista del 1938. Psicologia Sociale, III, 3: 471-489. DOI: 10.1482/28383
  51. Savage R. (2007). “Disease incarnate”: Biopolitical discourse and genocidal dehumanisation in the age of modernity. Journal of Historical Sociology, 20, 3: 404-440. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6443.2007.00315.x
  52. Sontag S. (1978). Illness as Metaphor. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (trad. it.: Malattia come metafora. Il cancro e la sua mitologia. Torino: Einaudi, 1979).
  53. Sontag S. (1989). AIDS and Its Metaphors. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (trad. it.: L’Aids e le sue metafore. Torino: Einaudi, 1989).
  54. Stannard D.E. (1992). American Holocaust. Columbus and the Conquest of the New World. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (trad. it.: Olocausto americano: la conquista del nuovo mondo. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 2001).
  55. Staub E. (1989). The Roots of Evil. The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
  56. Stella G.A. (2002). L’orda. Quando gli albanesi eravamo noi. Milano: Rizzoli
  57. Steuter E. & Wills D. (2010). “The vermin have struck again”: Dehumanizing the enemy in post 9/11 media representations. Media, War & Conflict, 3, 2: 152-167. DOI: 10.1177/1750635210360082
  58. Todeschini G. (2007). Visibilmente crudeli. Malviventi, persone sospette e gente qualunque dal Medioevo all’età moderna. Bologna: Il Mulino
  59. Vaes J., Leyens J.P., Paladino M.P. & Pires Miranda M. (2012). We are human, they are not: Driving forces behind outgroup dehumanisation and the humanisation of the ingroup. European Review of Social Psychology, 23, 1: 64-106. DOI: 10.1080/10463283.2012.665250
  60. Volpato C. (2011). Deumanizzazione. Come si legittima la violenza. Bari: Laterza
  61. Volpato C. (2012). La negazione dell’umanità: i percorsi della deumanizzazione. Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia, 3, 1: 96-109. DOI: 10.4453/rifp.2012.0009
  62. Volpato C. (2013). Psicosociologia del maschilismo. Bari: Laterza
  63. Volpato C. & Cantone A. (2005). Un tout-autre: le colonisé. Une étude de la délégitimation dans la presse fasciste. In: Sanchez-Mazas M. & Licata L., editors, L’Autre: regards psychosociaux. Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble, 2005, pp. 211-240.
  64. Volpato C. & Durante F. (2003). Delegitimization and racism. The social construction of antisemitism in Italy. New Review of Social Psychology, 2: 286-296
  65. Volpato C., Durante F. & Cantone A. (2007). “Popolo di poeti, di artisti, di eroi, di navigatori…”. Lo stereotipo dell’italiano in epoca fascista. Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, 34: 851- 875. DOI: 10.1421/25835
  66. Volpato C., Durante F., Gabbiadini A., Andrighetto L. & Mari S. (2010). Picturing the other: Targets of delegitimization across time. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 4, 2: 269-287

  • Dehumanizacja w komentarzach internetowych w polskich portalach informacyjnych. Identyfikacja i klasyfikacja zjawiska na przykładzie odbioru Fransa Timmermansa Arkadiusz Domagała, in Zarządzanie Mediami /2021 pp.451
    DOI: 10.4467/23540214ZM.21.024.13755
  • Un lutto speciale. Delegittimazioni culturali e rappresentazioni della morte nella perdita di un animale domestico Ines Testoni, Loriana De Cataldo, in PSICOTERAPIA E SCIENZE UMANE 3/2017 pp.413
    DOI: 10.3280/PU2017-003004

Chiara Volpato, Negare l’altro. La deumanizzazione e le sue forme in "PSICOTERAPIA E SCIENZE UMANE" 2/2013, pp 311-328, DOI: 10.3280/PU2013-002012