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While dehumanization is often described as a pre-reflective, instrumental defense mechanism, even in its more implicit form of social bias or prejudice, this article illustrates that dehumanization is used in defense not only against violence, actual or imagined, but in defense of an in-group's purportedly superior claim to basic human resources such as food, as well as in defense of the current dominant power structures and social hierarchies that allocate such power and resources.

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