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  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: July 2009

3 - The Context: The Arab-Israeli Intractable Conflict


As the previous chapters suggested, in order to understand why particular psychological intergroup repertoires evolve, it is necessary to unveil the macrocontext of a particular society. Macrocontext is formed by the social, political, economic, and cultural characteristics and conditions of a specific society. They include collective memory, ethos, values, societal beliefs, norms, economic conditions, political system, economic conditions, societal structure, intragroup relations, and intergroup relations – in sum, all the macrofactors that can have a bearing on how beliefs, attitudes, and emotions toward other groups develop in particular time, space, and conditions. Some of these contextual factors, such as intergroup relations, societal structure, and economic conditions, provide the basis for experiences that foster the development of particular stereotypes, attitudes, or emotions toward specific outgroups. Other contextual factors of a more societal or cultural nature such as norms, values, collective memory, and societal beliefs (e.g., ethnocentric beliefs) constitute the sociocognitive emotional basis from which particular contents (i.e., ideas) may be drawn and/or which can support or discourage the evolvement of a particular repertoire. The sociocultural context is of special importance because it contains the building blocks with which a group constructs the content of its stereotypes and the rationale for this content.

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