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Barbarism and Barbarians

Boucher, David 2016. Barbarism and Barbarians. In: MacKenzie, John M. ed. The Encyclopedia of Empire, First Edition, John Wiley and Sons, pp. 1-6. (10.1002/9781118455074.wbeoe143)

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Abstract

”Barbarian” and “barbarism” are terms that convey a predominantly negative connotation, and are used not only as descriptions, but also to convey a pejorative evaluation. They strongly convey difference, and also disapproval on grounds of language, cultural practices, habits of thought, and intellect, measured in relation to the ideal of civilization, as represented from one's own vantage point. There is one concept of barbarism, but many conceptions. Bartolomé de Las Casas identified four meanings, which included barbaric acts by civilized societies. Characterizations of barbarians and barbarism have the effect of dehumanization and demonization, often exaggerated in mythical or imaginary accounts of repulsive or primitive practices, such as blood rituals, sacrifice, cannibalism, bestiality, and brutal slaughter.

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons
ISBN: 9781118455074
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 12:44
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/88404

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