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HISTORY_Pilecki & Hammack

HISTORY_Pilecki & Hammack

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Published by Andrew Pilecki

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Published by: Andrew Pilecki on Jan 03, 2013
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“Victims” versus “Righteous Victims”: Historical Dialogue and theRhetorical Construction of Social Categories among Israeli and Palestinian YouthAndrew PileckiPhillip L. Hammack University of California, Santa CruzAuthor NoteThis research was supported in part by the Committee on Research of the Academic Senate andthe Division of the Social Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Portions of thisarticle were completed while the second author was supported by a Visiting Fellowship from theJoan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Wegreatly acknowledge the research assistance of Ella Ben Hagai, Manal Al-Tamimi, Neta Caspi,Tamar Dar, Aaron Dewey, Mofeda Dababo, Yaser Eid, Julian Farzan-Kashani, Ellen Garfield,Abigail Jacobson, Husam Jubran, Amelia Meloeny, Amber, Romano, Elena Ricks, MichelleSafi, Scott Silk, Michael Singh, Jerri Skog, Alex Strauss, Eric Windell, and Megan Ziman. Wealso acknowledge the support of Gretchen Grad and Julie Kanak to conduct the research. We
thank Elsamarie Corradetti, Cindy Cruz, Aída Hurtado, Paul Nelson, Lauren Shapiro, and AvrilThorne for comments given at various stages of this manuscript’s development. Finally, wethank Eran Halperin and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Portions of this paper were presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Political Psychologyin San Francisco, California, 2010. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressedto Andrew Pilecki, Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 HighStreet, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 USA. Electronic mail may be sent to apilecki@ucsc.edu.
AbstractTheory and empirical research in political psychology have increasingly examined therelationship among politics, mind, and behavior through the lens of narrative. This perspectivetheorizes the engagement with and reproduction of collective narratives as central to themaintenance of particular political configurations. In this study, we examine the use of collectivenarrative in historical dialogue among Israeli, Palestinian, and American youth participating intwo distinct paradigms of dialogue-based intergroup contact. Informed by social psychologicaltheories of intractable conflict, the rhetorical construction of social categories, and socialidentity, we employed an interpretive hermeneutic strategy to examine variability in discussionsof history based on dialogue paradigm. Across both dialogue conditions, we discovered aconsistent pattern in which Palestinian claims of victimization were met with Jewish Israeliinvocation of a “righteous victim” rhetoric to justify their group’s use of force. We discuss theway in which this kind of conversation reveals the interpretive repertoires youth in conflictsettings inherit and actively use to enhance the positive distinctiveness of social identity and, inso doing, reproduce the narrative stalemate that underlies their intractable conflict within thedialogue setting. Implications for historical dialogue and intergroup contact in settings of intractable conflict are discussed.
: Israel-Palestine conflict; history; identity; social categorization; intergroupcontact; discourse analysis; interpretive; victimization; narrative

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