The dynamic of songs in intergroup conflict and proximity: The case of the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza strip

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Abstract

This study explores intergroup dynamics through group singing during the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Interviews with 14 protesters and 14 security force members showed how different genres of songs affected intergroup conflict or proximity. When protesters sang Israeli folk songs, rhythmic Jewish religious songs and protest songs, these songs evoked negative feelings among security force members, thus increasing intergroup conflict. When protesters expressed pain and sadness through singing slow, quiet, spiritual songs, these songs evoked empathy on the part of security force members, thus increasing intergroup proximity. This dynamic is discussed in the light of socio-psychological studies and the emotional influences of music.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-412
Number of pages16
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Intergroup conflict
  • Intergroup proximity
  • Israeli disengagement
  • Songs

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