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      Between Tikkun Olam and Self-Defense: Young Jewish Americans Debate the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


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          In this study, we examined processes associated with ingroup members’ break from their ingroup and solidarity with the outgroup. We explored these processes by observing the current dramatic social change in which a growing number of young Jewish Americans have come to reject Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. We conducted a yearlong participant observation and in-depth interviews with 27 Jewish American college students involved in Israel advocacy on a college campus. Findings suggest that Jewish Americans entering the Jewish community in college came to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a lens of Jewish vulnerability. A bill proposed by Palestinian solidarity organizations to divest from companies associated with Israel (part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions or BDS movement) was also interpreted through the lens of Israel's vulnerability. As the college’s Student Union debated the bill, a schism emerged in the Jewish community. Some Jewish students who had a strong sense of their Jewish identity and grounded their Judaism in principles of social justice exhibited a greater openness to the Palestinian narrative of the conflict. Understanding of Palestinian dispossession was associated with the rejection of the mainstream Jewish establishment’s unconditional support of Israel. Moreover, dissenting Jewish students were concerned that others in the campus community would perceive them as denying the demands of people of color. We discuss our observations of the process of social change in relation to social science theories on narrative acknowledgment and collective action.

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              Toward an integrative social identity model of collective action: a quantitative research synthesis of three socio-psychological perspectives.

              An integrative social identity model of collective action (SIMCA) is developed that incorporates 3 socio-psychological perspectives on collective action. Three meta-analyses synthesized a total of 182 effects of perceived injustice, efficacy, and identity on collective action (corresponding to these socio-psychological perspectives). Results showed that, in isolation, all 3 predictors had medium-sized (and causal) effects. Moreover, results showed the importance of social identity in predicting collective action by supporting SIMCA's key predictions that (a) affective injustice and politicized identity produced stronger effects than those of non-affective injustice and non-politicized identity; (b) identity predicted collective action against both incidental and structural disadvantages, whereas injustice and efficacy predicted collective action against incidental disadvantages better than against structural disadvantages; (c) all 3 predictors had unique medium-sized effects on collective action when controlling for between-predictor covariance; and (d) identity bridged the injustice and efficacy explanations of collective action. Results also showed more support for SIMCA than for alternative models reflecting previous attempts at theoretical integration. The authors discuss key implications for theory, practice, future research, and further integration of social and psychological perspectives on collective action. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA

                Author and article information

                J Soc Polit Psych
                Journal of Social and Political Psychology
                J. Soc. Polit. Psych.
                05 April 2017
                : 5
                : 1
                : 173-199
                [a ]Society, Culture, Thought, Bennington College, Bennington, VT, USA
                [b ]Psychology, University of California , Santa Cruz, CA, USA
                [3]Department of Psychology, Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Society, Culture, Thought, Bennington College, 1 College Drive, Bennington, 05021, VT, USA. ellabenhagai@ 123456bennington.edu

                All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                : 20 February 2016
                : 18 January 2017
                Self URI (journal-page): https://journals.psychopen.eu/
                Original Research Reports

                Jewish Americans,intra-group conflict,victimhood,narratives,BDS,collective action,social change,diaspora,Israel,activism


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