Sociopsychological infrastructure of an intractable conflict through the eyes of palestinian children and adolescents

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Abstract

This study investigates the sociopsychological infrastructure (SPI) of the Palestinian society which facilitates coping with the reality of the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Specifically, the study examines the views of Palestinian children and adolescents toward the conflict, as expressed in their writings in a youth newspaper. The timeline focuses on 3 distinct periods: the peace process (1996-1997), the reemergence of the violent conflict (2001-2002), and a relatively calm period (2005-2007). By examining the SPI in the Palestinian case, the study aims to contribute to the existing research on the sociopsychological foundations of intractable conflict, which has so far focused on Israeli Jewish society. The key findings show that about a third of the writings of Palestinian children and youth focused on the conflict, and demonstrate the existence of the SPI and its elements. In particular, the writings mainly reflect the following components of SPI: (a) societal beliefs of victimization, (b) patriotism, and (c) collective emotion of hope. These results are discussed in relation to the particular experiences that the Palestinian children and adolescents undergo in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalPeace and Conflict
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Collective emotions
  • Ethos of conflict
  • Intractable conflict
  • Palestinian children and adolescents
  • Sociopsychological dynamics

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