Obstacles to reconciliation and forgiveness among victim groups of unacknowledged past trauma and genocide

Özden Melis Uluğ, Rezarta Bilali, Mehmet Karasu, Leah Malo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Groups in conflict often resist efforts toward reconciliation with the outgroups. Despite the growing research examining processes underlying support for reconciliation, we know little about how resentment might drive members of victim groups that have experienced violence and atrocities to oppose reconciliation and reduce their willingness to forgive the perpetrator group. Using the context of the Turkish–Armenian conflict, the present research investigated the association of ingroup identification, ingroup glorification, and resentment with willingness to reconcile and forgive among Armenians in their homeland context (Armenia; Study 1) and Armenian-Americans in the hostland context (the United States; Study 2). In Study 1, stronger Armenian identification and Armenian glorification predicted more resentment toward the Turks, which in turn predicted less forgiveness and less support for reconciliation. Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 regarding the associations of ingroup glorification but not ingroup identification. However, Study 2 also demonstrated that identification with diaspora identity (i.e., American identity) predicted positive intergroup outcomes. Results point to the important relationship between different modes of identification both in the homeland and in hostland countries and intergroup-related outcomes through resentment, and to the obstacles to reconciliation and forgiveness among victim groups of unacknowledged past trauma and genocide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-325
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Armenian genocide
  • diaspora identity
  • forgiveness
  • glorification
  • homeland identity
  • identification
  • reconciliation
  • resentment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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