Can patriots be critical after a nationalist war? The struggle between recognition and marginalization of dissenting voices

Sandra Penic, Guy Elcheroth, Stephen Reicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research suggests that the relationship between ingroup identification and reactions to moral violations perpetrated by ingroup members depends on the mode of identification: while glorification lowers group-based guilt, critical attachment enhances it. In our first study, based on comparative survey research, this pattern was replicated in Serbia, but not in Croatia. In Croatia, highly attached respondents tended to reject criticism of the past war irrespective of their mode of identification. In a second study, we sought to explain the Croatian results by examining how critical attachment is denied legitimacy. We analyzed the rhetorical structure of a parliamentary debate around regime-critical media coverage. The analyses show how the marginalization of critics is anchored in (1) a monolithic construction of the nation, which sacralizes particular elements and places them beyond discussion, and (2) a construction of the international context as too threatening to permit any dissent. Overall, the results of this mixed-method study highlight that the opportunity to be recognized as a critical patriot depends on a nation's sociopolitical climate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-496
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Psychology
Volume37
Issue number4
Early online date19 Apr 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • National identification
  • Critical attachment
  • Group-based guilt
  • Conformism
  • Mixed-method

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