Social Psychological Applications
Bosnia Genocide - Pamela Castañeda
Milgram conducted an obedience study which concluded that people tend to follow an authority figure and justify their actions leaving the responsibility to their leader.
Serbian soldiers were obedient to their extremely nationalist leader Slobodan Milosevic (Serbian president) to start war on the countries around them that had large Serbian communities, especially Bosnia. They were obeying the rules to “ethnically cleanse” Bosnian towns and “safe areas”.
The Power of Individuals
Prejudice is an unjustified opinion (usually negative) towards someone or a group of people, often based on their gender, ethnicity, religion, social classes, etc. The Bosnian Serbs were against the Bosnian Muslims just because they were a smaller population. The Serbs acted with prejudice towards them, although their judgement wasn't from anything personal, their ethnicity and religion made them hate each other.
The UN and the United States used “ethnic cleansing” as an excuse for the genocide in Bosnia, instead of recognizing what was happening was an actual genocide by the Serbs.
Social Identity Theory
The Serbs attacking the Bosnians identified them with the “Greater Serbs”, they felt like they belonged to that group which compelled them to attack the Muslim Bosnians.
In-groups and Out-groups
People define themselves in terms of social groupings, the group that someone identifies with is an in-group. Those who aren't part of their in-group is part of the out-group (any group that is not their group). People tend to belittle people from out-groups just because they're not from the same group. The Serbs had their own in-group
The Ingroup in the Bosniak genocide was the Serbs, since they were the ones with more privileges and the majority. The outgroups were the Mulsim Bosniaks
The agency theory states that people will be obedient to a leader when the leader will take responsibility for their actions. The Serbian soldiers killed thousands of men and boys on behalf of the "Greater Serbs" and under the orders of Ratko Mladic, so when one thinks of who committed the genocide, one thinks of Ratko Mladic and the "Greater Serbs", not about every single soldier who participated.