Genocidal Language Games

In Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan (eds.), Speech and Harm: Controversies Over Free Speech. Oxford University Press. pp. 174--221 (2012)
Authors
Lynne Tirrell
University of Connecticut
Abstract
This chapter examines the role played by derogatory terms (e.g., ‘inyenzi’ or cockroach, ‘inzoka’ or snake) in laying the social groundwork for the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994. The genocide was preceded by an increase in the use of anti-Tutsi derogatory terms among the Hutu. As these linguistic practices evolved, the terms became more openly and directly aimed at Tutsi. Then, during the 100 days of the genocide, derogatory terms and coded euphemisms were used to direct killers to their victims. Understanding these speech acts helps to illuminate the important ways that power is enacted through discourse, how speech acts can prepare the way for physical and material acts, and how speech generates permissions for actions hitherto uncountenanced. Studying the role of speech acts and linguistic practices in laying the groundwork of the genocide illuminates how patterns of speech acts become linguistic practices that constitute permissibility conditions for non-linguistic behaviors. Further, the analysis presented here helps to make sense of the view that a steady, deep, and widespread derogation of a group can be part and parcel of genocide, not only an antecedent to it.
Keywords Genocide  Language  Speech Acts  Inferential Roles  Violence  Derogatory Terms  Epithets  Harm  Language Games  Rwanda
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,097
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Stop Talking About Fake News!Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-33.
Slurs, Roles and Power.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt & Jeremy L. Wyatt - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2879-2906.
Slurs, Interpellation, and Ideology.Rebecca Kukla - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (S1):7-32.
Differentiating Hate Speech: A Systemic Discrimination Approach.Katharine Gelber - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-22.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-01-19

Total views
304 ( #15,424 of 2,313,444 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
57 ( #7,259 of 2,313,444 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature