So, dehumanization of the enemy was done in the past all over the world. Does it still happen in the 21st century? That's the question that my co-author and I asked in our study of editorial cartoons of bin Laden and the Taliban after the events of 9/11.
Hart, W. B. & Hassencahl, F. (2002). Dehumanizing the enemy in editorial cartoons. In B. Greenberg (Ed.). Communication and Terrorism: Public and Media Responses to 9/11 (pp. 137-155). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
The study began with the observation of the way that President Bush talked about the enemy and how editorial cartoonists subsequently depicted the Taliban and bin Laden.
NBC News: Days of Crisis: George Bush and 9/11
See 20:45-24:55 using the above link or see video clip below.
In this clip what dehumanizing metaphors are used?
In short, our study found that people (U.S. leaders and editorial cartoonist, in this case) continued to use the dehumanizing visual metaphors identified by Keen -- enemy-as-animal, enemy-as-barbarian, enemy-as-criminal, etc.
We closed our book chapter with the following important note.
Does this process of dehumanization continue?
President Jimmy Carter interview from April 9, 2013. Korea = "Axis of Evil"?
From EuroNews April 5, 2013
If you are interested, see "Anonymous Can't Stop North Korea, but They Can Turn Kim Jong-un into a Pig" (The Atlantic Wire).
This recent example also ties into our discussion of the role of social media in war-time communication.
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See more about me at my web site WilliamHartPhD.com.