Students in Professor Ronit Shemtov's SOCA 160: Issues in Contemporary Genocide and Mass Violence class can use this page for help with the research for their final project.
For your final project, you will study a current case of mass violence. Your goal is to determine whether or not your case is a “mass atrocity” - is it a genocide, a crime against humanity, a war crime, or an ethnic cleansing?
You will present your project to the class as either a set of slides or as a Google site.
Below, you can:
See Blackboard to review Professor Shemtov's full details and guidelines about this assignment.
You will need to gather information sources that help you with the following parts of your project.
Major actors involved
Who are the major victims and who are the major agents or perpetrators of the violence?
What were the perpetrators' political, social, religious, or ethnic positions in society? Were they government officials or persons with authority and power? What were their stated motives for starting the violence? What did they have to gain by committing the violence?
How were the victims different from their perpetrators? What was their ethnicity, political power, or gender? Were there other social differences?
Overview of the countries / regions involved
Where is this violence taking place? How long has it been going on? What countries are affected?
Nature and scale of the violence
How many individuals were affected over the course of this event? How many died? Were imprisoned? Harmed? Forced to relocate?
International community response
How have outside players (other countries, the United Nations, non-profit groups, and NGOs) responded to the crisis? Have they said or done anything about the violence?
Use at least 5 sources to gather this information and answer these questions. Refer to your Jones textbook reading and the 6 components for more guidance on the information you should outline in this stage.
In this stage, show your ability to “analyze” your case study from a theory perspective and finally “evaluate” whether your case fits the definition of genocide, a crime against humanity, or some other atrocity.
Apply the 3 theories of genocide discussed during class by summarizing how each would explain your case of mass violence. How would a political science view explain the violence in your case study? A sociological theory? A psychological theory? Do you have convincing examples or illustrations for any of these theories?
In your conclusion, make a clear and convincing judgment as to what “type” of mass atrocity you’ve presented. Explain why this case is a potential genocide or another type of mass atrocity. Be specific. Briefly summarize the evidence (especially the 6 components). When making your argument, refer to the definitions you learned at the beginning of the course, your course materials, and the "Framework of Analysis of Atrocity Crime" document available on Blackboard.
List of Sources
Include all the sources you used for Stage 1 and Stage 2 in APA style. See the documenting sources section further down this page for more information about how to present and cite your sources.
The following suggested resources should help you gather the information for Stages 1 & 2 of your project.
News articles will likely help you track the events before, during, and after the violence. The following news sites and library databases are recommended by your professor and embedded librarian, but in addition, you should check news sources of the region where the case is occurring, so you can get both a local and global perspective. If news sources conflict, try to determine why that might be and consider including it in your analysis of the case.
If you need more information about your case of mass violence, these additional resources might be helpful.
If you are having difficulties with your searches or find sources, try the following:
In addition to searching for your country, the name of the conflict, or the groups of people who were considered the perpetrators and victims, you may also want to add any or some of these other keywords to your searches:
|victims / victimization
|"human rights violations"
Group phrases you want to search as a single idea together in quotes (ex. "human rights violations"). You can combine search keywords using the connector words AND (both keywords or phrases must appear in any sources) or OR (either keyword or phrase must appear in any sources). You can combine your search keywords many different ways - try to mix and match them as you search.
Websites and library databases often provide search filters that can help you sift through your results, but they don't always use the same labels.
In the library databases and tools, if you see a Full-Text or Content I Can Access filter option, be sure to apply it to your search, so that you can access and read the sources in the results immediately.
Depending on what item of your project you are trying to find information on, the Source Type or Content Type filters might be helpful (especially if you are looking for news articles).
You may also have the choice to check the Peer-Reviewed option, if you are looking for studies and detailed analyses that have been written by scholars and experts in the field and have undergone a critical review process before being published.
Applying the Publication Date filter might also help. Depending on the database you are using, there may be even more search filters that are helpful for your needs.
Sometimes the resource you are searching just isn't a good fit for your topic. If you feel you have exhausted the resource and still need more information, or just aren't finding a whole lot that is useful to begin with, move to a different website, database, or tool to continue searching.
Gather the basic information you need about your topic first. This will help you understand it better and prepare you to continue searching your case more deeply. As you become more familiar with your topic, you can move to more detailed or technical sources. If you are having difficulty understanding your sources, you may need to take a step back and gather more background information or look-up the terminology your sources are using. Have the context and background information about your case will help your audience too.
Take notes both as you search and as you read your sources. Work on your outline and think about what information you will present as you are reading and evaluating your sources.
If you have an embedded librarian in your class, consider working with them on your research. They can troubleshoot your searches and help you find sources. Look for their contact information in Blackboard.
If you do not have an embedded in your class, contact any librarian for research help by chatting, emailing email@example.com, calling (610) 861-5359, or visiting one of the Research Help desks on campus during the posted research help hours. You can also schedule a Book a Librarian appointment to meet in-person or virtually at a time convenient for you.
As the last page of your Google Site, create a Sources page. Add your sources to this page as you find them, citing them on this page in APA citation style. Number each of the sources.
Use the number of each source as your parenthetical in-text citation for it wherever you need to credit or attribute information to it. Any sources you cite in-text throughout the rest of your site should appear on your Sources page, and any sources included on your Sources page, should be cited in-text on the other pages of your site at least once.
Also be sure to add these same sources to your outline where appropriate.
See the Citing Sources page of this guide to view and download the NCC Library APA Handout, to review when it is necessary to cite within your text, and to find other resources that can help you create the citations for your sources.
A librarian or tutor can help you build your citations or review them for accuracy.
If you decide to present your topic as a Google Site, below are some resources that might help you work with your Google Site.