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More than a perpetrator: Lived experiences of perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda who have engaged in action-Based psychosocial reconciliation

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Author: Bakas, Tania
The scope of post-conflict reconciliation and peace-building literature has largely focused on processes of atonement and outcomes for survivors. Few analyses concentrate on perpetrator experiences and even fewer on the phenomenological processes of change for offenders in ethnic/political conflict contexts. Four ex-prisoners, perpetrators from the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda, were each interviewed on two occasions, one week apart, for approximately one hour. Participants shared their lived experiences in engaging with survivors through the Action-Based Psychosocial Reconciliation Approach (ABPRA). Situated within a social constructionist paradigm, this interpretative phenomenological analysis presents participants' change through ABPRA. Themes emerged centre on positive changes in self/group identity, interpersonal/intergroup trust-building and impact of community and government supports on personal development and symbiosis with survivor groups. The phenomenological experiences explored reveal psychosocial mechanisms that lead to enduring positive changes in attitude and behaviour, self-efficacy, and personal contributions towards community wellness and economic growth.
69 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Minami, Masahiro
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