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Ethnic Dehumanization in Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner

Vishwa Bhushan
Published: 30 December 2022

Abstract: Ethnic dehumanization occurs when an ethnic group thinks that the other ethnic group is not equal to it and can be treated as less than human. The debut novel of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner manifests intangible situation between the Pashtuns and Hazaras who are two different ethnic groups in Afghanistan. The purpose of my paper is to deal with the concept of dehumanization, the reason for dehumanizing ethnicity and to analyses the effect of dehumanization depicted in Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. Theories of sociological and psychological approaches are used in this paper. Apart from Shia and Sunni sects, few Hindu, Sikh and Jew communities inhabit Afghanistan, but in this fragmented nation major issues of the conflict between Hazaras and Pashtuns have resulted in dehumanizing ethnicity. Hazaras are dehumanized by Pashtuns as they consider them as the poorest and weakest ethnic group in Afghan. Pashtuns consider themself superior than Hazaras because of physical appearance, religious’ beliefs and cultural practices. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, highlights the issues of dehumanization and dehumanizing ethnicity which is the main reason of the bad effect on psychological health of oppressed ethnic people in Afghanistan. In this novel, Hosseini not only highlights the psychological and social health of Hassan but through Hassan he tries to give the glimpse of all Hazara’s psychological and social status. Dehumanization of ethnicity creates hate in one group of people by their fellow group of people and it divides the people into two groups in which one tries to repress others and sometimes it results in genocide, slavery and molestation. That’s why dehumanizing ethnicity is curse for the society because it creates discrimination at every level of humanity.
Keywords: Dehumanization / Hazaras / Pashtuns / Ethnicity / Prejudice / Racism / Stigmatization

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