Genocide as Social Practice: Reorganizing Society under the Nazis and Argentina's Military Juntas by Daniel FeiersteinGenocide as Social Practice: Reorganizing Society under the Nazis and Argentina's Military Juntas by Daniel Feierstein

Genocide as Social Practice: Reorganizing Society under the Nazis and Argentina's Military Juntas

byDaniel Feierstein

Paperback | May 1, 2014

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Genocide not only annihilates people but also destroys and reorganizes social relations, using terror as a method. In Genocide as Social Practice, social scientist Daniel Feierstein looks at the policies of state-sponsored repression pursued by the Argentine military dictatorship against political opponents between 1976 and 1983 and those pursued by the Third Reich between 1933 and 1945. He finds similarities, not in the extent of the horror but in terms of the goals of the perpetrators.

The Nazis resorted to ruthless methods in part to stifle dissent but even more importantly to reorganize German society into a Volksgemeinschaft, or people’s community, in which racial solidarity would supposedly replace class struggle. The situation in Argentina echoes this. After seizing power in 1976, the Argentine military described its own program of forced disappearances, torture, and murder as a “process of national reorganization” aimed at remodeling society on “Western and Christian” lines.

For Feierstein, genocide can be considered a technology of power—a form of social engineering—that creates, destroys, or reorganizes relationships within a given society. It influences the ways in which different social groups construct their identity and the identity of others, thus shaping the way that groups interrelate. Feierstein establishes continuity between the “reorganizing genocide” first practiced by the Nazis in concentration camps and the more complex version—complex in terms of the symbolic and material closure of social relationships —later applied in Argentina. In conclusion, he speculates on how to construct a political culture capable of confronting and resisting these trends.

First published in Argentina, in Spanish, Genocide as Social Practice has since been translated into many languages, now including this English edition. The book provides a distinctive and valuable look at genocide through the lens of Latin America as well as Europe.
 DANIEL FEIERSTEIN is the director of the Centre for Genocide Studies at the National University of Tres de Febrero in Argentina. He is the current president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and has consulted for the United Nations in several projects.
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Title:Genocide as Social Practice: Reorganizing Society under the Nazis and Argentina's Military JuntasFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:May 1, 2014Publisher:Rutgers University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0813563178

ISBN - 13:9780813563176

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Editorial Reviews

"Genocide as Social Practice makes its English language debut after successful publication in its original Spanish. Feierstein provides a critical analysis of the genocidal policies of Nazi Germany and the Argentine junta. Feierstein shows that the terror brought forth by the junta, often referred to as the 'dirty war,' shared many goals with the terror of perpetrators of the Holocaust. Feierstein has established himself as a go-to voice on the Argentine genocide, which is solidified here. Recommended."