Demonization

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Constructing a discourse and/or narrative where a certain category of people is seen as Evil. (In Swedish: demonisering)

Interactions

This facet of categorism is an expression of: prejudice, bigotry and discrimination, acting on the dogmatic level or discursive level.

It is likely to intersect with facets such as:

  • Dehumanization: To portray someone as an inhuman monster is both dehumanization and demonization. These two facets are separate facets because you can also portray someone as "less than human, without being monstrous" or as "monstrous, but still fully human".
  • Othering: If he is so evil, he's certainly not one of us!
  • Categorist slurs: This category is bad that enough to be a bad word...
  • Kyriarchy: Bad traits gets constructed as associated with the underprivileged or oppressed category of people. Also, traits associated with the category gets constructed as bad. It goes both ways, and in both cases makes it harder for these people to succeed in society.

As well as with abstractions such as:

  • Categorization by emotional bias: When we see someone as a decent, it becomes hard to categorize this person as something we consider to be evil and vile.
  • Zero-category: Through demonizing a minority, it becomes easy to pretend that the majority category is not a category but instead simply regular good decent people.

Examples of applying this facet to a particular foci of categorism can include:

  • Sexism: Talking about one gender or another as being immoral, driven by selfishness and dark emotions.

Demonization in example texts