Social representations of the Holocaust and Jewish Israeli identity construction: insights from identity process theory.
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.
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.
ISSN : 1350-4630
Research Group : Psychology
Research Institute : Media Discourse Centre (MDC)
Peer Reviewed : Yes