Conversations about Indifference

  • Susana Kaiser
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series


“If only people knew …” Unfortunately, the notion that public awareness of mass violence and repression could deter them remains—quite often—wishful thinking. As for the causes of indifference, a multiplicity of factors are at play, ranging from political interests to fear, and including individualism or sheer approval of the perpetrators’ crimes. Furthermore, indifference is not limited to the times when the atrocities were being committed. There is another phase to it, one that relates to the aftermath of the terror, the tortures, and the killings. It is reflected in a society’s stance toward impunity and accountability. But there are links between the lack of justice and indifference. As we have seen, living under a culture of impunity provokes feelings of anger, fear, and impotence, which easily turn into cynicism and apathy.


Young People Political Participation Wishful Thinking Student Center Traumatic Past 
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  1. 1.
    This is the title of the pertinent book by Ricardo Sidícaro and Emilio Tenti Fanfani, eds., La Argentina de los jóvenes; entre la indiferencia y la indignación (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1998).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    See Ronald L. Cohen, “Silencing Objections: Social Constructions of Indifference,” Journal of Human Rights 1:2 (June 2002): 187–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Susana Kaiser 2005

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  • Susana Kaiser

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