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Ritual Participation, Sacred Values, Violence and Intergroup Conflict

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Technical Report,01 Jan 2015,31 Dec 2017

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Queenss University Belfast Belfast United Kingdom

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The research was in the context of the Northern Ireland conflict i.e., the conflict between LoyalistsUnionistsProtestants and RepublicansNationalistsCatholics, but focusing on the more sectarian sections of these two communities. Our aim was to probe the exact nature of radicalization in a situation where intergroup violence has diminished substantially but there are still strong sectarian attitudes. For this, we adopt, as a theoretical framework, the Devoted Actor Model developed by anthropologist Scott Atran and colleagues, which focuses on factors such sacred values, fusion with the group and threat perception. Our results so far show that, although sectarians in Northern Ireland have sacred values related to group identity that influence dispositions to intergroup violence, they do not evince the backfire pattern of reaction to sacred values evidenced by sectarians in areas of high, violent intergroup conflict.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology

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