Social & Global Studies

Unit 1 Individual & Society


Asymmetric control over valuable resources in a social relationship.


What Is Genocide?          BACKGROUNDER LINK
Why Do Mass Atrocities Take Place?
When Is Genocide Possible?
Does Genocide Ever Happen By Chance?
How Can They Be Prevented?

A sign at the Ntarama church genocide site, Rwanda, where approximately 5,000 men, women, and children were murdered in 1994.

LINK to Greg Stanton’s Speech

LINK to text of Arendt’s Speech

How Are Our Identities Formed?

The philosopher Hannah Arendt has said the ESSENCE of being human is participation in moral discourse with others. Thus to be human is to talk with others about what is right and wrong.

According to Arendt, we humanize what is going on in the world and in ourselves only by speaking of it, and in the course of speaking of it we learn to be human. In other words, our identity is shaped by human behaviour and our curiosity to understand it.

Individual Identity is Shaped by Both Internal & External Forces

INTERNAL FORCES include: self-perceptions, preferences, choices, behaviours, & experiences

EXTERNAL FORCES include: others’ perceptions, choices, & behaviours, social norms, & customs (pressure to conform)

Identity & The Bear That Wasn't

A New Concept of Identity

READING A New Concept of Identity by Amin Maalouf


Ten Stages Detailed BACKGROUNDER

STAGE 1, 2, & 3 Activity Studying The Armenian Genocide


Lieutenant Said Ahmed Mukhtar al-Ba’aj, an Ottoman officer, and Arab Muslim soldier who defected to the Russian Army testified about his role in the deportation of Armenians from Trebizond and Erzerum.


The Armenian Genocide

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Obedience, Conformity, & Identity

VIDEO          BBC Documentary Recreating Milgram’s Obedience to Authority Experiment

ARTICLE          On Obedience as Identity: Milgram and the Banality of Evil           By Lukas Holschuh

A.  Each student will be placed in a FOCUS GROUP.

B.  Groups will discuss and formally answer the following questions given the “Milgram” materials above and our in-class
     discussion on obedience and conformity:

  1. How Specifically Does the Milgram Experiment Connect to Obedience and/or Conformity?
  2. What is the Significance of the Findings to the Concept of Responsibility?
  3. What is the Significance of the Findings to Understanding the Process of Genocide (STEPS 1, 2, & 3)?
  4. Does the Milgram Experiment Offer Insights into Understanding the Armenian Genocide?  A Strong Answer Includes Specific 
      Details from Our Study of the Armenian Experience.
  5. Highlight 2 Critiques of the Milgram Experiment Offered by the Lukas Holschuh Article You Find Compelling.
  6. Link Arendt’s Banality of Evil to the Milgram Experiment.
  7. How Does Identity Fit with Obedience and Conformity?

C Groups will record answers to questions 1 – 7 in the shared document HERE.