Social representations of the Holocaust and Jewish Israeli identity construction: insights from identity process theory.

Date

2011

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1350-4630

Volume Title

Publisher

Taylor and Francis/ Routledge

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This study explores how a group of young Israeli Jews understood and defined their ethno-national identities, focusing upon the role of social representations of the Holocaust in the construction of Jewish Israeli identity. Eleven individuals were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Transcripts were subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis. The analysis was informed by identity process theory and social representations theory. Three superordinate themes are reported, entitled: (i) ‘perceptions of the Holocaust as a personal and shared loss’; (ii) ‘re-conceptualising the Holocaust and its impact upon intra-/ intergroup relations’; and (iii) ‘the Holocaust as a heuristic lens for understanding the Israeli-Arab conflict’. The data suggest that awareness of social representa- tions of the Holocaust may enhance the belonging and continuity principles of identity, in particular. It is argued that the maintenance of national ingroup security constitutes a source of (group) continuity. Implications for psychological well-being are discussed.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

Holocaust, Jewish identity, identity process theory, social representations, psychological well-being, social psychology, qualitative

Citation

Jaspal, R. and Yampolsky, M. (2011) Social representations of the Holocaust and Jewish Israeli identity construction: insights from identity process theory. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, 17 (2), pp. 201-224.

Rights

Research Institute

Media Discourse Centre (MDC)
Mary Seacole Research Centre