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Narrative and the Politics of IdentityThe Cultural Psychology of Israeli and Palestinian Youth$
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Phillip L. Hammack

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195394467

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394467.001.0001

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Peace and the Politics of Contact: A Brief History

Peace and the Politics of Contact: A Brief History

(p.247) 6 Peace and the Politics of Contact: A Brief History
Narrative and the Politics of Identity

Phillip L. Hammack

Oxford University Press

This chapter constructs a narrative that contextualizes the intervention efforts examined in this study of Israeli and Palestinian youth. It outlines, in broad strokes, the history of the contact hypothesis and its grounding in an American context of interracial relations. It suggests that, as the cultural grounding of the contact hypothesis has been increasingly interrogated, the notion that conflict is primarily a product of individual personality development has been contested. An integrated approach that recognizes the social structural origins of conflict and their consequences for social cognition and intergroup behavior was developed by Henri Tajfel and his colleagues in the UK as an alternative to this original emphasis on personality. Based on a brief review of Israeli–Palestinian contact, it is argued that the history of those efforts actually runs parallel to this intellectual history within social psychology. The growing influence of social identity theory among practitioners of intergroup encounters in Israel provides evidence of this parallel history.

Keywords:   contact hypothesis, Israeli youth, Palestinian youth, social psychology, social identity

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