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Perceptions of collective narratives and identity strategies: the case of Palestinian Muslims and Christians in Israel


  • Adi Mana


  • Shifra Sagy


  • Anan Srour


  • Serene Mjally-Knani



The study suggests a model for understanding inter-group relations which has combined two psycho-social concepts: perceptions of collective narratives (Sagy et al. in Am J Orthopsychiat 72(1):26–38, 2002 ) and identity strategies (Tajfel in Human groups and social categories, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1981 ; Berry in Cross-cultural perspectives: Nebraska symposium on motivation, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1990 ). The model examined two minority groups of Israeli citizens: Palestinian Muslims and Christians, with a representative sample of 1,164 Muslims and 805 Christians, all Israeli citizens, aged 18–65. We used questionnaires which were developed and adapted for the unique population in this study. As expected, members of both groups mostly endorsed integration strategy. Stronger willingness for competition and separation, as well as lower acceptance of the “other” collective narratives, were found among Christian participants compared to their Muslim counterparts. The expected pattern of inter-relations between the two psychosocial concepts was found: integration and assimilation strategies were related to higher rates of acceptance of the out-group collective narratives and to lower levels of legitimization of in-group collective narratives. In the same vein, the opposite pattern was found in the relations between strategies of competition and separation and the perceptions of collective narratives. The discussion focuses on the contribution of the theoretical model and the findings of our study to a better understanding of the complicated inter-group relations between Palestinian Muslims and Christians who are citizens of Israel. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Adi Mana & Shifra Sagy & Anan Srour & Serene Mjally-Knani, 2012. "Perceptions of collective narratives and identity strategies: the case of Palestinian Muslims and Christians in Israel," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 11(2), pages 165-182, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minsoc:v:11:y:2012:i:2:p:165-182
    DOI: 10.1007/s11299-012-0108-y

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    1. Adi Mana & Shifra Sagy & Anan Srour & Serene Mjally-Knani, 2015. "On both sides of the fence: perceptions of collective narratives and identity strategies among Palestinians in Israel and in the West Bank," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 14(1), pages 57-83, June.


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