Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Conflict Resolution and University Honors
Amanda Smith Byron
Dignity -- Social aspects, Holocaust survivors -- Personal narratives, Donna Hicks (Conflict management consultant). Dignity -- Criticism and interpretation, Atrocities -- Psychological aspects
This paper examines the significance of the presence or absence of dignity in the lives of survivors of atrocity. In the aftermath of mass violence and conflict, the honoring of dignity is frequently sidelined or undermined by liberal peacebuilding models in lieu of social and political transformation. These models have been heavily criticized in recent literature for overlooking local context and survivor needs. The necessity for a shift toward humanitarian peacebuilding paradigms has been argued, with calls for the centering of dignity and human rights in post-conflict processes. However, the way in which individuals in post-conflict settings experience the honoring or dishonoring of dignity has been insufficiently addressed. This paper seeks to highlight this subject through a review of dignity, the establishment of a positive model for dignity, and an examination of video testimony from Holocaust survivors. This testimony is discussed using the ten elements of dignity identified by Dr. Donna Hicks in her book, Dignity, as a framework for analysis. In my findings, the impact of dignity violations, the potential for human resiliency, and the need for post-atrocity support are illuminated.
Fessenden, Rachel, "Understanding Dignity Through Survivor Testimony" (2019). University Honors Theses. Paper 681.