Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Radicalization as an attempt to find a solid identity

Is part of the problem the failure of countries to properly integrate their foreigners? Correcting this could be a step in the right direction towards preventing radicalization. When individuals feel unwanted or ostracized, they will naturally seek to find a place where they belong. A foundational component of our human nature is grounded in mutual relationships. Historically, we have always been in communities. Belonging operates as a basic need of oneself that must be met before the needs of an external are met. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, love/belonging comes before esteem. It is only out of belonging to a group that one’s identity can be solidified. If you fail to belong to a group, your identity is not clear, and consequently esteem cannot be induced. If one does not have esteem for oneself, how can respect for another occur? It goes back to the basic love principle, you cannot love someone without knowing how to love yourself first. Societies are becoming more exclusive instead of inclusive (as we can see in the current rhetoric of the Trump Administration), making individuals feel like they do not belong. Radicalization is an enormous leap, however from our reading we see it is a process that does start somewhere. If countries made these people feel like they belong even though they are a minority, this could lead them to develop a sense of self, or esteem, which would prevent them from being easily manipulated by these radical groups. However, with this gap present radical groups are able to come in and manipulate because the individual is desperately attempting to establish a solid identity and find true belonging, as they perceive themselves as being rejected from the larger society. Referring back to the lack of logical arguments:  How can one maintain or even care about logical arguments when the logical arguments pushed are not matching up with actual experiences. The logical argument being, do not harm another citizen in your society because we are all fellow citizens. If the person is being told they live in an equal society yet they are being treated as something else, a cognitive dissonance is produced. This uncomfortable feeling leads individuals to seek out ways to manage or eliminate it, which leaves open the opportunity for these radical communities to come in and provide an explanation as to why things are the way they are, even if it’s completely illogical. This illogical argument from the radical communities appear to make more sense because the reality argument put out by the society is not true, as it does not match up with the living experience of the person. The situation of radicalization can only get worse if countries continue to fail to properly integrate all into their society. It is one thing to declare equality, but if it is not happening on a micro-level, it appears as false rhetoric, in which radical groups can appear offering to provide some form of “truth” as opposed to a widely accepted “lie”.

1 comment:

  1. True, I think that a part of integration should be also about teaching the person how to balance his own identity and heritage with the identity of his "new" country. The contradictions between the two identities lead in some cases to an identity crisis, causing people to seek "equality" in the wrong place.