The nation in context: how intergroup relations shape the discursive construction of identity continuity and discontinuity

Obradović, S. and Bowe, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-0491-1472, 2020. The nation in context: how intergroup relations shape the discursive construction of identity continuity and discontinuity. British Journal of Social Psychology: e12413. ISSN 0144-6665

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The perceived collective continuity (PCC) of a national identity serves as a crucial source of stability and self‐esteem for group members. Recent work has explored the consequences of perceived continuity when the meaning of a nation’s past is seen in a negative light, and the challenges this brings for the negotiation of a positive identity in the present, signalling the potential value of perceived discontinuity The current paper extends this literature by examining the role of intergroup relations in the construction of both collective continuities and discontinuities. Through analysing the discursive management of national identity in nine focus groups in a post‐conflict context (Serbia, N = 67), we reveal how the tensions between continuity and discontinuity are embedded within a broader discussion of the nation’s relationship with relevant national outgroups across its history. The findings contribute to theoretical knowledge on the interlinking of national identity and PCC by illustrating the ways in which intergroup relations of the past shape the extent to which continuity is seen as desirable or undesirable. We argue that despite the psychological merits of collective continuity, discontinuity can become attractive and useful when there is limited space to challenge how a nation’s history is remembered and the valence given to the past. The paper concludes by offering an account of how social and political contexts can influence the nature, functions, and valence of PCC within national identities.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: British Journal of Social Psychology
Creators: Obradović, S. and Bowe, M.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 9 August 2020
ISSN: 0144-6665
Rights: © 2020 The Authors. British Journal of Social Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Psychological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 12 Oct 2020 13:35
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:15

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