Collective narratives as indicators of examining intergroup relations

Anan Srour (Conflict Management and Resolution Program, Ben Gurion University, Beer‐Sheva, Israel)
Shifra Sagy (Conflict Management and Resolution Program, Ben Gurion University, Beer‐Sheva, Israel)
Adi Mana (Conflict Management and Resolution Program, Ben Gurion University, Beer‐Sheva, Israel)
Serene Mjally‐Knani (Conflict Management and Resolution Program, Ben Gurion University, Beer‐Sheva, Israel)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Publication date: 28 June 2013

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine inter‐group relations between two religious minorities, Palestinian Christians and Muslim citizens of Israel, by measuring perceptions of in‐group and “other” group collective narratives.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a representative sample of 1,121 Muslims and 756 Christians in Israel. The questionnaire presents narratives that are common among Muslim and Christian populations in Israel, relating to eight different historical, social, or political events. Subjects were asked to rate levels of legitimacy, feeling of empathy, and anger towards each one of the presented narratives.

Findings

In comparison to Muslims, Christians reported a lower tendency to give legitimacy to the narrative of the other, showed more emotions of anger, and lower feeling of empathy towards the Muslim narrative. In addition, a content analysis of the narratives that were used in the questionnaire revealed two different patterns of response to narratives. One related to narratives with national issues, where Christians seemed to be excluded from the Palestinian nation, and the other related to narratives with religious issues, where Muslims reported more anger, less empathy and less legitimacy towards the Christian narratives.

Originality/value

The paper presents a new tool based on Sagy, Adwan and Kaplan, developed to examine perceptions of in‐group and “other” group collective narratives. This study examined the tool in a different context of conflict. In addition to the quantitative measures of the perceptions of the collective narratives, the paper describes a new method for analyzing the data collected by this tool.

Keywords

Citation

Srour, A., Sagy, S., Mana, A. and Mjally‐Knani, S. (2013), "Collective narratives as indicators of examining intergroup relations", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 231-244. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-10-2012-0072

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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