Threat and the majority identity

Nava Sonnenschein*, Zvi Bekerman, Gabriel Horenczyk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study grapples with the question of majority-minority relations in conflict-ridden societies. The ethnographic study analyzed data gathered in a dialogue course conducted at an Israeli university among Jewish and Palestinian students, all citizens of the State of Israel. The authors identified 4 different and interrelated components of threat as these were perceived by the Jews participating in the dialogue: a permanent existential threat, the realistic threat from Palestinians, the threat to Jewish hegemony in the State of Israel, and the threat to the moral worth of the Jews' national identity. The authors describe each of these components, how they interrelate, and also the changes undergone by the Jewish participants in the dialogue.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)47-65
Number of pages19
JournalGroup Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Conflict resolution
  • Cross-cultural encounters
  • Identity threat
  • National identity
  • Peace education


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