A cultural perspective on intergroup relations and social identity

Published: 2012. Contact: James Liu


While the most violent instances of intergroup conflict in recent memory have usually involved cultural groups, particularly those of ethnicity, nationality, and religion, theory and research on intergroup relations in psychology is largely culture free.

The research addresses indigenous knowledge and cross-cultural comparisons which has been neglected in the international literature on intergroup forgiveness. It examines the perceived appropriateness of forgiveness and perceived benefits and costs in politicized domains. Ultimately, the proposed model aims to explain why and when forgiveness is an appropriate means of inter-group rapprochement.


The psychological study of collective remembering and social representations of history has developed significantly over the past decade and a half. Societal belief structures and generational processes appear to be important tools in developing a cultural perspective on intergroup relations in psychology.

Universal processes of intergroup relations and social identity are constrained by societal belief structures, which in turn are responsive to the identity and generational processes involved in collective remembering.

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