This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Talking To The Enemy Essay

1951 words - 8 pages

Psych 253 Book Review: Talking to the Enemy

Richard Marion

In his book Talking to the Enemy (2010), Scott Atran uses his experiences in the countries often perceived as the origin of most global terrorist actions against the United States combined with scientific proof from a wide variety of sources to argue for new methods of understanding and stopping terrorism as it exists today. Though many examples and analyses of terrorist acts are examined in the book along with many different explanations for the social and psychological mechanisms that may cause them, one of the central ideas is the power of social bonds to drive people to commit actions that they never would have considered ...view middle of the document...

The more strongly they believed that people were outside of their group, the more strongly they believed in taking hostile actions against them. A preference for both people who share out characteristics as well as group members has been shown in social psychology. Myers, Spencer and Jordan (2009) refer to a number of studies affirming this, including one where simply by knowing men's opinions they were able to predict how well they would like each other (p. 388). Applying this knowledge to Atran's findings and conclusions seems to support them – when others were perceived as being more like them they were less likely support harmful actions against them, and when others were perceived as being unlike them they were much more likely to support harmful actions against them. It doesn't take much extrapolation to see how this could translate directly to attitudes that violent terrorist acts against the 'other' in the United States are a good thing. A notable weakness to the study is that it has a relatively small sample size. Four madrasas were analyzed, three of which had no JI affiliations (associated instead with Nahdlatal Ulama or Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia) and one of which was in fact created in part by the founder of JI (Atran et al, 2008). From these schools the interviews of something more than one hundred students were analyzed. As striking as the findings may be, as conclusions are being drawn in an attempt to explain attitudes across Southeast Asia a sample size of around 25 students per madrasa seems like it might not reflect persistent attitudes across different generations of students or even ones that are held in slightly different geographical locations. While similarities can be drawn between the students willingness to use violence against outsiders and the findings of social psychology that people are less favourable to dissimilar others (Myers, Spencer, Jordan, p. 389), without a more diverse selection to examine it is hard to


say whether the students relative willingness to kill non-Muslims is resultant from their perception of non-Muslims as less like them or if it has been drawn directly from the teachings they have received. It should be noted that another finding of social psychology is that attitudes and behaviour are generally not strongly correlated (Eibach, 2012) and that when taken alone the interviews do not show a direct correlation with violent actions. However, other references that are made both in the book and within Atran's research does lead to a more conclusive link. Ultimately despite the weakness of its small sample size and the fact that it only shows an explicit attitude rather than behaviours that might be resultant from that attitude, the research is persuasive in that it shows a clear link between the degree to which outsiders are seen as being unlike the students and the degree to which they display hostile attitudes towards outsiders. In addition, this has been shown in a way that is highly...

Other Papers Like Talking to the Enemy

Mister Essay

1982 words - 8 pages the negativity of the gangster myth ratifying the belief in the public enemy system. This would be seen as the result of the collapse of law enforcement in a society or loss of morality, and ultimately social disorder. William Wellman’s The Public Enemy (1931) starred James Cagney as the fast talking and cocky Tom Powers and his most famous line, “I’m on top of the world Ma!” This is an example of a well dressed man with street smarts who is a

War On Terror Essay

317 words - 2 pages control of the United States, their rights are blanketed under the Suspension Clause of the Constitution and as such, they should be granted the right to seek Habeas Corpus. The Executives maintain that unlawful enemy combatants have no rights under the Constitution of the United States and that the President retains full control over their detention. This paper will look at the English and American background of Habeas Corpus and how it plays into

A Description And History Pirates Around The World

1133 words - 5 pages work for the good of the ship.Pirate life paralleled life on other ships. For example they liked to have fun. They played many games on board the ship such as poker and varying types of dice games. During the games, many pirates would place bets on the games. When pirates were not working or fighting they were sleeping or talking. Pirate sleeping quarters were not the most clean and good smelling. They would sleep in hammocks stretched between the

red badge of courage

865 words - 4 pages Jim falls and dies. Henry runs again and sees General Grant sitting on his horse talking to his officers. The sight of the general causes him to keep running. He meets with another group of soldiers who are running from battle and Henry tries to find out what happened to his regiment. The soldier he is talking to wants only to keep running and clubs Henry over the head with his musket causing Henry to black out. When Henry awakes and begins

Makin Island

2547 words - 11 pages Makin Island Raid August 16-18, 1942 Abstract The Raid on Makin Island is an offensive assault headed by Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson. He is responsible for 221 men on the 2d Raider Battalion. Their overall mission is to destroy any or all Japanese installations, disrupt the enemy and divert reinforcement to Guadalcanal. The Raiders succeeded by their Tenet of Initiative and effective Maneuvering. They had to overcome

Write a character description of Z as an anti-hero. Be sure to include the incidents that transform Z from an insignificant member of the colony into its heroic savior

599 words - 3 pages to see the Princess again, he followed the soldiers and marching on the way to the colony. All of the sudden, the soldiers were commanded to fight against the enemy so as to protect the colony. Meanwhile, he met a soldier whom they were familiar with during a talk from the marching. While the combat was processing, Z is afraid of dying in the fight, so he tried to escape, and nearly killed by the enemy, he was fortunate that a soldier who was


438 words - 2 pages want to kill them even if I am killed, Krishna; not for kingship of all three worlds much less for the earth.”(1015) show how much he has an issue with killing the men of his enemy. These behavioral codes differ from that of Oedipus the King who thought only of himself and not of the suffering of others. It is not till the end of Oedipus that he starts to have some selfless thoughts. Whereas Arjuna is selfless from the beginning. How they

Fiction and the Business Lesson

917 words - 4 pages facing his conscience of what is good or bad when he discusses quietly in his head that Captain Torres is his enemy. The barber believes that what Captain Torres is doing is morally wrong and he should be executed for his actions. The barber contemplates how he can take matters in to his own hands, but realizes that he is a professional and he could lose everything he has worked hard for. The barber was a rebel, and he has watched what Captain

Merchant Of Venice

531 words - 3 pages obtain it. Gratiano calls Shylock an "execrable dog", and is displayed as the bad guy because of this.But the story contains more themes than just racism, another theme is love. But the love I'm going to be talking about is the one between Jessica and Lorenzo. This relate's to racism and religious intolerance because Jessica was a Jew and Lorenzo was a Christian, and even though they were deeply in love with each other Shylock opposed his daughter to


419 words - 2 pages encourage them to follow Him. Biblical leadership is not for anyone though. It requires wisdom: to know when to speak, and when to let others do the talking; to know the right words to say, and how to say them; and to have the right balance of encouragement and rebuke. It requires courage, for it is not an easy thing to stand up for what is right and godly when others are doing wrong. It requires integrity and righteousness in one’s own life, because for

Mission Analysis

709 words - 3 pages RCT’s main effort to rapidly pass forward to destroy the enemy in the vicinity of (vic) MEB Obj 1 (RCT-6 task) in order to deny the 34th MID an orderly withdraw through JTF-V Obj A. SPECIFIED TASKS  Conduct a forward passage of lines with LAR as passing force  *Attack in zone to destroy En forces in vic of Reg Obj 2  Conduct a forward passing of lines with 3/6 at Phase Line Green  BPT follow on ME’s attack to MEB Obj  *Secure key crossing

Related Essays

Characters Contribute To The Dramatic Effect Of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads

830 words - 4 pages "Talking heads" by Alan Bennett is a collection of monologues in which the audience are showed into the life of a character and given an insight into the character's personality and situation. People's lives are portrayed in comic ways leaving the audience feeling sympathy and guilt for the character in laughing at their misfortune. In the play a Chip in the Sugar Alan Bennett shows us a life of a very unconfident man who still lives with his

Dd101 Tma06 Evalulate The Claim That When Talking Of British Culture, It Is Better To Talk Of Cultures

1270 words - 6 pages Dean Hancock C368528x Evaluate the claim that when talking about British culture, it is better to talk of cultures British culture. Seen by some to have a deep rooted historical sense of practices and beliefs from within the British Isles, and by others more globally infused and diverse than anywhere on the Earth. When talking of British culture it can evoke

This Paper Discuses The Formation Of An Enemy And How It Is Represented In Dante's "Divine Comedy" And Melville's "Moby Dick". Along With Citations

3653 words - 15 pages Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. This phrase is one that we have all heard at some point or another, but what does it really mean to have an enemy or to be the enemy of someone. In many cases a person won't even know he is someone's enemy till that someone tries harming him. While in other cases the individuals won't even know each other because they will be fighting a war and all they now is that they are to fight Communists or

Domestic Violence Essay

553 words - 3 pages Faces of the Enemy: “Face of the Enemy is a documentary on how people and nations dehumanize their enemies to justify the inhumanity of war,” In Faces of the Enemy, Sam Keen has documentation what goes in the mind of the enemy and finds out why we have enemies, and why “we” dehumanize these enemies. The film discussed the sociological, psychological and political aspects of war as well as the strategies we use to dehumanize the enemy. The