The downsides of national identification for minority groups in intergroup conflicts in assimilationist societies

Authors

  • Rezarta Bilali

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Massachusetts at Boston, USA
    • Correspondence should be addressed to Rezarta Bilali, University of Massachusetts Boston, Wheatley Hall, 4th floor, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125, USA (e-mail: Rezarta.Bilali@umb.edu).

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Abstract

The current study considered the downsides of national identification for minority groups in intergroup conflicts in assimilationist societies. This study examined how, in the Turkish national context, the national and ethnic identifications of ethnic Turks (N = 103) and ethnic Kurds (N = 58) predict construals (i.e., conflict frames, attributions of responsibility, and severity of harm) of Turkish-Kurdish conflict. The results indicated that, across groups, a shared national identification was associated with similar conflict construals in line with the official Turkish narrative, whereas ethnic identification was associated with opposing conflict construals that might help maintain the conflict. However, the conflict narrative related to national identification might produce a shared understanding of the conflict (i.e., more intergroup harmony) at the cost of neglecting the minority group's grievances in the conflict and legitimizing the status-quo, thus hindering efforts to enhance the minority group's disadvantaged status.

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