Labeling is critical for the framing, perception, and political implications of social problems, genocide being a critical but overlooked example. For half a century social-science theory has developed increasingly sophisticated paradigms for understanding the process by which problems are recognized and addressed: social constructionism, labeling theory, politico-linguistics, problem definition, and tipping points. Yet rarely have these theoretical frameworks been applied to genocide studies. When reconsidered in light of Sudan, these general frameworks validate the constructionist argument that the recognized severity of political problems—including government-organized or -sanctioned mass killings—is a function of the socio-linguistic processing and naming of them. Anti-genocide advocates, no less than scholars of genocide, can benefit from the adaptation and application of policy frameworks deriving from constructionist analysis. The article concludes with empirical data tracing the use of the term ‘‘genocide’’ in the print media with respect to Darfur.
Miles, William F.S.
"Labeling “Genocide” in Sudan: A Constructionist Analysis of Darfur,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol1/iss3/4