The Dehumanization of Refugees: A Framework An analysis of how dehumanization affects the lives of refugees in two different refugee camps/centers
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In this thesis a framework is proposed for analyzing the lives of refugees in terms of dehumanization. There are three questions central to this thesis: How can we understand the term dehumanization? What are processes by which dehumanization might occur to refugees? What is the role of language in dehumanization and how does this relate to dehumanizing practices? The first four chapters of this thesis propose a framework of dehumanization and corresponding mechanisms of how dehumanization might occur. It is argued that the role of language cannot be underestimated – language is performative, not merely descriptive and this means that language can have a dehumanizing effect. Through the study of two refugee camps/centers (Idomeni in Greece and Dutch refugee centers) it is argued that while refugee camps can be dehumanizing, refugees are already dehumanized before they set one foot in a refugee camp due to the negative discourses in our society. Since this discourse does not differ much with regard to the location of the refugees (whether they are in Idomeni or a Dutch refugee center), the severity of the dehumanization occurring due to circumstances in a refugee camp is, is to a large extent dependent on the government responsible for this camp.