"Nobody ever told Us": The contribution of intragroup dialogue to reflexive learning about violent conflict

Michael Sternberg, Tal Litvak-Hirsch, Shifrah Sagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to explore the contribution to reflexive learning about conflict reality when encountering narratives of the other in intragroup dialogue. That is, dialogue within one national group in the context of a binational conflict. This dialogue was with a group of Jewish-Israeli undergraduate students. The study explored the contribution of the dialogue to the capacity to relate to ongoing conflict relations from perspectives that go beyond binary and oppositional assumptions and positions. This research is based on detailed observations of the dialogue, interviews with group members, and a field diary kept by Michael Sternberg. Findings indicate that, without the immediate need to close ranks in the presence of the outgroup, the intragroup setting supplied opportunities to explore diverse identities, narratives, power structures, and related collective assumptions and to examine alternatives to existing types of conflict engagement. Furthermore, findings indicate the contribution of such processes to the readiness to challenge hegemonic perceptions of conflict reality and cope with the challenges of becoming an active bystander toward the abuse of power relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-138
Number of pages12
JournalPeace and Conflict
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2018


  • Active bystander
  • Conflict engagement
  • Intragroup dialogue
  • Israeli Palestinian conflict
  • Narratives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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