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Katharina Schmid, Miles Hewstone, Nicole Tausch, Richard Jenkins, Joanne Hughes & Ed Cairns

In: The SAGE Handbook of Identities

Chapter 24: Identities, Groups and Communities: The Case of Northern Ireland

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Identities, Groups and Communities: The Case of Northern Ireland
Identities, groups and communities: The case of Northern Ireland

Over and above the historical, political, and economic facets of ethno-political conflicts there exist distinct psychological and social components which underlie and can perpetuate intergroup tensions even after the initial causes of conflict have subsided (see Deutsch's [1973] notion of ‘destructive conflicts’ that are likely to continue after initiating causes have become irrelevant). Central to social-psychological explanations of such conflict is the notion that people characterize their social world into ‘us’ and ‘them’ and that these group identities may afford specific meaning to individuals. Social identification processes contribute uniquely to ethno-political conflicts, in that the intractability of such conflict is often mirrored in the contested group identities, which ...

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