THE INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE AMERICANS DURING WORLD WAR II: A CASE STUDY OF NATIONAL TRAUMA AND INSTITUTIONAL VIOLENCE

Ridwan Laher, Arthur G. Neal

Abstract


The events set in motion by the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour were
among the more consequential events in the history of the world (Toland, 1982).
The subsequent development of the atomic bomb and its use at Hiroshima and
Nagasaki permanently changed the conditions under which men and women live
(Selden and Selden, 1989) and provided a dramatic illustration of what human
beings are capable of doing to each other (Lifton and Markusen, 1988). The
immediate effects of the surprise attack on the United States (US) were traumatic as
the nation entered a war for which it was not prepared. The long range-effects
include the imprinting of the surprise attack in collective memories and a national
determination by the US to never again be caught unprepared militarily (Neal,
2005). Both political leaders and journalists drew upon the memories of Pearl
Harbour as they attempted to make sense out of the surprise terrorist attack of
September 11, 2001 (9/11), and to mobilize the nation for an effective response.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5787/34-1-14

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Copyright (c) 2018 Ridwan Laher, Arthur G. Neal


ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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