You should know better: Expressions of empathy and disregard among victims of massive social trauma

Julia Chaitin, Shoshana Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a belief that victims of extreme violence should be sensitive to the suffering of others although most of the psychosocial literature points to the opposite. We examine this belief by looking at work that we have carried out on the psychosocial effects of the Holocaust and on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We assert that being a victim of collective violence often inhibits empathy toward others and creates continued animosity. We focus on intergenerational aspects connected to victimization and their negative impact on the expression of empathy among descendants of victims in order to explain why the sense of victimhood and justification of repeated violence is often expressed by individuals born years after the original violence took place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-226
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Empathy
  • Genocide
  • Holocaust
  • Intergenerational aspects of trauma
  • Palestinian-Israeli conflict
  • Social trauma
  • Victimhood
  • Victims

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'You should know better: Expressions of empathy and disregard among victims of massive social trauma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this