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Title: Indifference to past human rights violations in Chile
Author: Corral, Hugo Andrés Rojas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 3829
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The purpose of this thesis is to explain how and why a sector of the Chilean population is indifferent to past human rights violations committed during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-90), and also what the consequences of that indifference are in Chile today. An explanatory sequential and non-nested mixed methods design has been applied: the quantitative analysis is based on the 2013 National Bicentennial Survey (N=2,004), and the qualitative analysis is carried out from fifty-three in-depth and semi-structured interviews to indifferent and non-indifferent individuals. It is argued that indifference to past human rights violations is the result of various processes of socialization that influence the individual, being relevant life experiences and social interactions related to political issues. According to the survey, 16.02 percent of the sample is indifferent to past atrocities. Regarding the causes of indifference, binomial logistic regression highlights four variables: political orientation, socio-economic status, generational cohort, and perception of social conflict. The analysis of in-depth interviews shows that the three most common sets of variables that explain indifference to past human rights violations are: the predominant emphasis on search for family and personal well-being, discomfort with politics, and fear of a recurrence of the pre-coup d'état crisis and post-coup authoritarian experiences. Qualitative analysis shows that indifference is dynamic and visible. There are also different intensities in the spectrum of indifference. As the indifferent are a heterogeneous group, distinctions between disillusioned, submissive, depoliticized, and resigned indifferent are presented. It is also argued that the indifferent cynics are a problematic group for transitional justice, democratic consolidation, and the rule of law. Regarding the social consequences, the indifferent may actively promote social indifference in their interactions; indifference has become a socially accepted norm by other sectors, and indifference facilitates the persistence of the culture of impunity over time.
Supervisor: Payne, Leigh Sponsor: Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology ; Human rights ; Transitional Justice ; Indifference ; Chile