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Resources: 11-8-2010

November 10, 2010

IRCT Plans Conference on Assessing
Outcomes of Torture Rehabilitation

The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims is convening a conference on “Assessing outcomes of torture rehabilitation: translating good practices into daily interventions” in Copenhagen, Denmark, on December 9-10, 2010.

“With perspectives ranging from low-income, conflict-ridden countries to high-income countries where the vast majority of persons treated are refugees and asylum seekers, the conference will focus on how to scientifically assess the outcomes of clinical torture rehabilitation services provided in different cultural and socio-economic contexts.”

For further information visit the IRCT website.

Images in “Renewing Lives” Highlight 
Impact of Rehabilitation and Empowerment

In cooperation with torture treatment programs throughout the world, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims created a slide-show, Renewing lives, to illustrate the effects of torture on its victims and to show the positive outcomes that result from rehabilitation and empowerment of survivors.

Position of Power Increases Likelihood
of Seeing Others as Less Than Human

Ken Pope passes on a note about an intriguing article in a recent issue of the journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.

“Power Increases Dehumanization,” by Joris Lammers and Diederik A. Stapel, reports on three experiments suggesting that the possession (or perceived possession) of power may increase dehumanization, or the perception of others as objects or animals. The authors argue that “these studies show that dehumanization – although by itself a very negative phenomenon – can also have functional elements: it helps powerful people to make tough decisions in a more distant, cold, and rational manner.”

Which of course, leaves aside the question of whether it’s safe to assume that powerful people will necessarily act rationally, and that their “tough decisions” are also good decisions.  In any case, see the Abstract here. Access to the full article from Sage Publications requires a subscription or one-time purchase. You may be able to access it through your university or library collection, or you could try contacting author Joris Lammers directly.

Thanks as always to Ken Pope, who also offers the quotation below. Check out his “Nine Strategies to Justify or Accept Torture here.”

            “We know now that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the
            evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to
            his day’s work at Auschwitz in the morning.”   
 — George Steiner (born 1929)

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