Study Guide

On Killing - Section 4, An Anatomy of Killing: All Factors Considered: Chapter 2, Group Absolution: Summary & Analysis

Dave Grossman (author)
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Here the author explores the ways that groups of people protect and sanction the behavior of others. The now-deceased, former leader of Iraq held power due to realistic anxieties that the opposition would revert to oppressing the group that he was representing. When there is absolution in a group, whoever kills is alleviated of what would in other circumstances create a social stigma. Outspoken nonkillers, are more apt to be found at war protests in an effort to separate themselves from the killing that is taking place. In stark contrast, military combat killers or public officials receive social support when "a monster is stopped." While anonymity might contribute in some cases to killing outside of war, it can work for and against it on a...

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