DOI link for Introduction
Maria Kronfeldner's Introduction maps the landscape of dehumanization studies. She starts with a brief portrayal of the history of the field. The systematically minded sections that follow guide the reader through the resulting rugged landscape represented in the Handbook's contributions. Different realizations, levels, forms, and ontological contrasts of dehumanization are distinguished, followed by remarks on the variety of targets of dehumanization. A discussion on valence and emotional aspects is added. Causes, functions, and consequences of dehumanization, and the prospects for reducing or undoing it, are introduced. The systematic overview closes with a discussion of some important theoretical complexities that arise in studying dehumanization. After these systematic sections, the scholarly work on dehumanization gets situated in the broader intellectual landscape of debates about the ‘human’ in the humanities and social sciences. The Introduction ends with some notes on scope, limitations, and intended readership of the Handbook.