Fictional Reality or Real Fictionality? The Relationship between Fictional Texts and Psychological Perceptions of Societies in Conflict
The study of groups’ behaviors in conflicts has shown that societies favor the in-group, delegitimize the out-group, and provide explanations for members of society as to why the conflict erupted and how to cope with it. It has been claimed that societies share a psychological in-group repertoire, an ethos of conflict, and that they develop a culture of conflict. As part of societies’ mechanisms, culture and fictional products – films, books and plays – have an important role in shaping the way people perceive, think and act in conflicts. Yet fictional texts, by their mere characteristics, provide a discourse which is more ambiguous and more equivocal: They speak in different voices, have many layers, and present the fictional reality in complex and even self-contradicting ways. There is therefore a contradiction between the role cultural texts supposedly have in an ethos of conflict, and the complex discourse they present. Looking at novels and films produced in Israel in the 1980s as a case study, the article shows that cultural products do not necessarily go in line with what one could expect from texts produced in a society in conflict. It is shown that in this particular case the cultural products provide a picture that resembles the ethos of conflict that will take the forefront 20 years later but not of the time in which they were produced. Three hypotheses are suggested in order to explain this gap.
ethos of conflict, Israeli-Arab conflict, fictional cultural texts, group behaviors in conflicts, peace agreement, societies in conflict
"Fictional Reality or Real Fictionality? The Relationship between Fictional Texts and Psychological Perceptions of Societies in Conflict,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 21:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol21/iss1/1