Definition of Genocide
(noun) The systematic and widespread extermination of a cultural, ethnic, political, racial, or religious group.
Example of Genocide
- The Holocaust (1941–1945) during World War II (1939–1945), in which Jews, Poles, and Romani were murdered by Nazis in Germany due to their ethnicity and race.
Etymology of Genocide
- Term coined by Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959) and first used in Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of Government, Proposals for Redress (1944).
- American English – /jEn-uh-sied/
- British English – /jE-nuh-sied/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈdʒɛnəˌsaɪd/
- British English – /ˈdʒɛnəsʌɪd/
- Plural: genocides
- Genocide was declared an international crime by the United Nations in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948.
- Loosely defined, genocide is the murder of a group and a homicide is the murder of an individual.
- The terms “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” are similar, however, there is a distinction: the aim of genocide is to murder a group and the aim of ethnic cleansing is to systematically remove a group. Additionally, genocide can be a part of the ethnic cleansing process. However, this distinction is not universally agreed upon in academia or lay usage.
- Also called:
- race murder
- racial extermination
- “Postmodernists are deeply distrustful of science and the principle of objectivity, arguing that scientific knowledge is as much a product of socially determined interests and biases of investigators as it is of facts, which themselves are products of social processes. In addition, postmodernists point out that scientific knowledge has failed to solve social problems or prevent war and genocide” (Hughes and Kroehler 2008:17).
- “The long history of deliberate discrimination against racial and ethnic groups in America belies the American ideology of individual freedom and equality of opportunity. From the near genocide of Native Americans to the banishment of survivors to reservations, to the importation and enslavement of Africans, to the subsequent Jim Crow legislation that legalized racial segregation and unequal opportunity in the South, to exclusionary acts and discriminatory immigration quotas, to land displacement of Mexican Americans, to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, to current forms of residential, occupational, and educational discrimination against various minorities, the American experience has for many been more of an American Nightmare than an American Dream” (McNamee and Miller 2013:180).
- Word origin of “genocide” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Bloxham, Donald, and A. Dirk Moses, eds. 2010. The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Chalk, Frank Robert, and Kurt Jonassohn. 1990. The History and Sociology of Genocide: Analyses and Case Studies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
- Horowitz, Irving Louis. 2002. Taking Lives: Genocide and State Power. 5th ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.
- Jones, Adam. 2006. Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. London: Routledge.
- Powell, Christopher John. 2011. Barbaric Civilization: A Critical Sociology of Genocide. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
- United Nations. 1999. Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Actions of the United Nations during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. New York: United Nations.
- Institute for the Study of Genocide: studyofgenocide.org
- What is genocide? – United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: ushmm.org
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Cite the Definition of Genocide
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “genocide.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 29, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/genocide/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
genocide. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/genocide/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “genocide.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 29, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/genocide/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“genocide.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 29 May. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/genocide/>.