The Second Intifada (also known as the Al Aqsa Intifada) which took place between Palestine and Israel between 2000 and 2004 marks the end of the Intifada movement in this region. While the events leading up to the Intifada provide a clear understanding of why this event occurred, it is evident that a more sociological explication is needed to understand what occurred during this event. For instance, researchers note that Ariel Sharon's decision to visit Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al Sharif in the Old City of Jerusalem is what ignited the Intifada. Sharon argued that his trip to Jerusalem was only to determine if Muslims had indeed damaged the remains at the cite (Hammer, 2001). However, Palestinians saw this move as an affront to their religious and political position. In the coming months, Sharon's visit to Jerusalem would serve as the basis for heinous fighting between the Israeli and Palestinian forces.With the realization the such notable tensions were ignited from Sharon's visit to the Hold Land, it is evident that the nature of the conflict that existed between the Israel and Palestine stemmed from something much more intrinsic than political or religious views. Utilizing this as a basis for investigation, this research examines the application of social identity theory to the Al Aqsa Intifada.
[...] Social Identity Theory: “Social Identity Theory asserts that group membership creates ingroup/ self-categorization and enhancement in ways that favor the in-group at the expense of the out-group” (Social identity theory, 2004). In their experiments, Tajfel and Turner found that mere act of individuals categorizing themselves as group members was sufficient to lead them to display ingroup favoritism” (Social identity theory, 2004). After membership is achieved, individuals attempt to garner self esteem by “positively differentiating their ingroup from a comparison outgroup on some valued dimension” (Social identity theory, 2004). [...]
[...] Social Identity Theory In order to begin this investigation, it is first helpful to consider the basic context and core assumptions of social identity theory. Researchers examining this theory have noted that it was posited in 1979 by Tajfel and Turner. These authors were exploring the specific conditions that would be necessary to promote members of one group to discriminate against members of another group. In short, what were the minimum conditions under which the individual would choose his own social group over another. [...]
[...] Considering the most notable point upon which social identity theory does not appear to provide some justification, this issue of categorization comes to mind. Tajfel and Turner argued that categorization was used by individuals to place themselves into specific categories(Social identity theory, 2004). If this is indeed the case, the central question that arises is why is it that Israelis and Palestinians cannot rise above their ethnic or religious categorizations of one another to see the similarities that Israelis and Palestinians share as human beings? Given the heavy causalities that have been incurred on both [...]
[...] Application of Social Identity Theory Although the above account of the events leading up to the onset of the Al Aqsa Intifada provide only a rudimentary overview of all the issues involved, it does clearly demonstrate the development of clear lines separating the Israelis and Palestinians. Although the Oslo Accords were developed to reduce violence in the Gaza Strip, they further disenfranchised the Israelis from the Palestinians by forcing Israel to segregate Palestinian land from Israeli land. This physical process of segregation further served as the basis for the separation of society. [...]
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