Monologic results of dialogue: Jewish-Palestinian encounter groups as sites of essentialization

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45 Scopus citations


Since the 1980s, many scholars have focused on the promise that dialogue holds to get beyond essentializing discourses. Based on the observation of a yearlong dialogue intergroup encounter between two groups of Israeli citizens, Jewish and Palestinian, this article shows that dialogic encounters between groups in a situation of structural inequality and domination may solidify essentialist discourses of culture and identity. The interpretative analysis of specific moments of the intergroup dialogue shows that throughout the dialogue process, self and other essentializing strategies recurred. The attempt of the Palestinian students to clear a space that would enable them to talk about their status as second class citizens while simultaneously presenting claims for equal access to citizenship was met with declarations about "Arab" culture by the Jewish students. In this process, both groups, albeit for different reasons, reinforced their monological conceptions of culture and identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-354
Number of pages28
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2002


  • Culture
  • Dialogue
  • Essentialism
  • Israel
  • Jews-Palestinians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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