Israeli Identity, Thick Recognition and Conflict by Lisa Strömbom (auth.)

By Lisa Strömbom (auth.)

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Extra resources for Israeli Identity, Thick Recognition and Conflict Transformation

Sample text

When a core construct is invalidated, the individual tends to feel insecure. In the application of Kelly’s concept of core constructs to the theory of intractable conflict, Northrup lends thoughts from Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory, which poignantly stresses that personal and social identities may be differentially salient under particular circumstances (1989:66). Moreover, social identity may in some contexts function almost as an exclusion of personal identity (Bruner and Perlmutter, 1957, Dion, 1975, Dion and Earn, 1975, Sherif, 1966).

However, due to the fact that intractable conflicts tend to produce quite rigid identities within those conflicthabituated systems, this kind of development tends to be slow and filled with hardships. People sharing identities in groups often to share targets of externalization, often understood as common enemies. This reinforces a shared view of a world split into either perceived enemies or allies (Northrup, 1989, Ross, 2000:1013, Volkan, 1994:78). Groups within conflicts tend to develop their own relatively internally consistent identity logics, which makes it possible to cope with events during the evolution of conflict.

Those are all commendable efforts. However, relatively little has been written on the role of inside actors (Francis, 2002:27), in contrast to the multitude of studies mainly scrutinizing elite and third party behavior. This study aims to do just that. It looks at the interplay between inside actors such as academics, state officials, media producers Thick Recognition and Conflict Transformation 37 and textbook writers and the possibility of their influencing the course of identity politics. This shows that these actors might play a crucial role in the development of conflict as they have the opportunity to contribute to the creation of recognition openings as well as recognition closures in a society.

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