Drawing on a corpus of ten oral interviews with survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, we examine how the government’s policy of unity and reconciliation has shaped post-genocide identities and intergroup relations in local Rwandan communities. By focusing on the relationships between individuals and the national post-genocide narrative, we show how the socio-political context in Rwanda influences how people locate themselves and how they ascribe rights and duties to and in relation to others. Specifically, we use positioning theory as an interpretive lens to argue that individuals view adherence to the government’s post-genocide narrative of unity and reconciliation as a moral duty, which is vital to continued political stability and economic development in Rwanda. Our discussion focuses on explaining how the social positioning of the national post-genocide narrative may function to reinforce the ethnic tensions the government has pledged to eradicate.
This publication was made possible through the support of a research grant AH/M004155/2 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK. The research was conducted in collaboration with the Aegis Trust who granted Professor Nicki Hitchcott and her team access to oral testimonies stored in the Genocide Archive of Rwanda. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the Aegis Trust or the Genocide Archive of Rwanda. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Laura E. R. Blackie, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blackie, Laura E. R. and Hitchcott, Nicki
"‘I am Rwandan’: Unity and Reconciliation in Post-Genocide Rwanda,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol12/iss1/5
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