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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-182
Number of pages18
JournalMind and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Acculturation
  • Christians
  • Collective narratives
  • Identity strategies
  • Israel
  • Muslims

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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