Dehumanization is seeing an individual or a group as lacking human qualities. Dehumanization occurs when an individual or group establishes in their belief system that another individual or group is inferior. While no one can clearly define all the reasons for violent action, most sociologists and historians believe that dehumanization is a clear antecedent to violence. Humans do not persecute groups or individuals they perceive as equal. Thus, dehumanization is the first, crucial link in the long and barbarous chain of violent action, that can only be overcome by rehumanization.
- See: Why being human matters: for the people of Gaza and the world, by Stephanie Van Hook
- For the growing consensus amongst the academic community, see the Dehumanization Wikipedia entry.