A social identity analysis of ingroup norms, trauma, and justice: The intergenerational experiences of Albanian dictatorship survivors

Blerina Këllezi*, Juliet Ruth Helen Wakefield, Mhairi Bowe, Tadeusz Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Mass human rights violations, such as those which occurred during the Albanian Dictatorship (1945-91), can impact citizens across generations. Decades later, the lives of families and community members are often defined by efforts to achieve justice and prevent similar future experiences. Existing research shows that social identities predict how survivors experience, understand, and cope with these violations. On the other hand, social identities can also inform societal level strategies of peace and reconciliation in the aftermath. However, it is not known how ingroup norms (e.g., familial, civic) impact intergenerational understandings of and responses towards transitional justice. To explore this, we analyse the accounts of first generation survivors of human rights violations during the Albanian Dictatorship, and their descendants (N=52). The data were analysed through reflexive thematic analysis informed theoretically by the Social Identity Approach and conceptually by transitional justice frameworks. The findings indicate that families take a central role in determining how past harms are understood and responded to and that associated identity-based norms (e.g., family norms) inform transmission of knowledge about past harms and appropriate forms of justice. Identity-based norms can also determine which justice processes are deemed acceptable for the next generation/s to engage in (e.g., peaceful responses, documentation of past harm, education of new generations, and fights for democracy). Implications for social identity and justice theories, as well as for practice, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
Early online date8 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • social norms
  • transitional justice
  • dictatorship
  • family identity
  • civic identity

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