Evelin Lindner: The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for Conflict





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Published on Oct 31, 2011

"The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for Conflict" is a video clip that was recorded on October 30, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Linda Hartling, for the World Dignity University initiative.
In her second book, "Emotion and Conflict: How Human Rights Can Dignify Emotion and Help Us Wage Good Conflict" (2009), Lindner describes how realizing the promise of equality in dignity can help improve the human condition at all levels—from micro to meso to macro levels. This book uses a broad historical perspective that captures all of human history, from its hunter-gatherer origins to the promise of a globally united knowledge society in the future. It emphasizes the need to recognize and leave behind malign cultural, social, and psychological effects of the past. The book calls upon the world community, academics and lay people alike, to own up to the opportunities offered by increasing global interdependence. Please see more details on www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin041.php.
Quoted from the "Emotion and Conflict" book (p. xv): "Imagine that you are a social worker and Eve is a woman in your district. She is regularly and severely beaten by her husband, Adam. You are afraid that Eve might not survive the abuse. Neighbors describe scenes of shouting and crying, and the bruises on Eve's body are only too obvious. You visit her as frequently as your schedule permits. You try to convince her to protect herself better, for example by leaving her unsafe home and seeking refuge in protected housing designed for cases like hers. You consider her a victim and her husband a perpetrator. You explain that "domestic chastisement" has long been outlawed. You suggest that Adam's behavior humiliates her and urge her to develop a "healthy" rage as a first step toward collecting sufficient strength to change her life for the better. In your eyes, this situation clearly represents a destructive conflict loaded with hot and violent emotion and you wish to contribute to its constructive resolution.
Sometimes, Eve is so exhausted that she seems to listen to you. At other times, however, she resists you, arguing: "Beating me is my husband's way of loving me! I am not a victim! It is all my fault! I bring it upon myself! My grandmother taught me that arrogant women sin against divine traditions! We have to respect our traditions!" Her husband, of course, adamantly refuses to be labeled a perpetrator. He accuses you of viciously disturbing the peace of his home, of violating his male honor. To Adam, there is no destructive conflict, no suffering victim, no violent perpetrator—except in your mind, the mind of the social worker, a third party.
You cannot help remembering the South African elite and its defensiveness about apartheid. You also think of the current attention to so-called honor killings and how this practice has recently moved from the neutral category of cultural practice to the accusatory category of violation of human rights. Or the Indian caste system, that has only recently been renamed "Indian apartheid." All such framings—unsurprisingly—do not meet with friendly acceptance from the supposed perpetrators."
See more on www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin02.php.

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