Deindividuation and Its Role in Modern Society Essay

Words: 1193
Pages: 5

Conner Wilson
Composition I

The Deindividuation of Society Since the beginning of time, mankind has advanced as a society of many; each person and individual a piece in the great machine that is time. This unity, this joining of forces, has driven mankind forward throughout the dark ages of humanity’s past and into the modern world people live in today. Much has changed with the passing of time, but what has not changed is humanity’s primal instinct to create allies and forge relationships to stand united against the forces that would oppose them. This bond is essential to the structure of society and is the foundation on which culture is built, making this “Deindividuation” of society all the more disturbing. This
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From getting caught up in the energy of a mob, to committing violent acts as terrible as rape or murder, deindividuation can cause many people to behave in ways they may have considered unfeasible.
A few examples of this sort of deindividuation can be seen throughout history in the form of war crimes and hate groups, one of the primary examples being the case of the torture and abuses that occurred in the Abu Ghraib prison of Baghdad. There were many elements about the situation making it conducive to deindividuation. One of the key elements of this is that military setting itself is unreservedly encouraging to deindividuation due to its focus on group unity and a lessening of independence. A second major factor was that due to the circumstances of the event, the prison lacked many necessary assets, including adequate clothing for the prisoners and translators, which made it easier to dehumanize the captives as “the enemy.” Moreover, the prison was badly organized, with indistinct guidance and principle. As the guards of the prison stood on trial for their war crimes, most claimed that if they exceeded some sort of boundary, they would have expected a commander to tell them it was erroneous or order them to discontinue rather than being of the judge of their own behaviors.
Another key sample to learn from is that of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Aside from the