Identity and the psychology of conflict
by The Open University
This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.
Religion is just one of the ways we identify ourselves, and others. We also use race and culture to define what sets us apart from other people. But why do we perceive others in a particular way? And why do our perceptions cause such conflict? Can a psychological perspective on what provokes responses to other people help our understanding of history and current politics?
This hard-hitting pathway begins with a discussion of the concept of identity – we may think we choose who we are, but how much of our identity depends on how others define us?
The pathway also explores the psychologists’ perspective. We study the experiment run by Dr Zimbardo of Stanford University in 1971, where ‘prisoners’ and ‘guards’ fell easily into the social roles defined for them.
It was conducted in the aftermath of World War II, to understand how ordinary people were drawn in to behave in a particular way, and can be compared with a more controlled experiment set up in response in 2001 by Professor Haslam from Exeter University and Professor Steve Reicher from University of St Andrews. They were concerned with the ethics of Dr Zimbardo’s study.
Carrying on with the theme of imposed social roles, you’ll look at the demonisation of the Jews by Nazis – and its consequences. Next you will study of a speech by Himmler, and research into the behaviour of German police at the massacre at Josefow in July 1942.
The checkpoints and walls that control movement of Palestinians between Israel and the West Bank are seen as a security measure, but what are the psychological effects on both sides? And what about the distinction between physical and mental barriers? Dr Irus Bravurman from the University of Buffalo Law School said ‘…there’s this kind of cultural separation that has become a lot more formalised’.
A series of interviews with Terry Waite offers thoughtful ideas on creating rapport rather than defining identity, and the pathway ends with an example of rapport-building in action by the police, where they are guests in the homes of different ethnic groups.
This pathway will appeal to those with an interest in the interplay between history, psychology and politics.
||Identity - what is it?||--||7:18||Free||View in iTunes|
||Formation of Identity||--||7:34||Free||View in iTunes|
||Shared Identity||--||8:11||Free||View in iTunes|
||Changing identity||--||7:04||Free||View in iTunes|
|5||ExplicitDr Zimbardo||Psychologists look at a ground breaking social psychological experiment carried out in 1971, seeing how men behaved when given the roles of prisoner's and guards.||6:45||Free||View in iTunes|
|6||The Experiment||Professor Alex Haslam talks about the modern day take on Dr Zimbardo's 1971 social psychological study which he set up and filmed for the BBC.||11:44||Free||View in iTunes|
|7||Splitting & Projection||Professor Ann Phoenix and Dr Helen Lucey discuss the twin processes, and how they relate to social psychoanalytic research.||2:58||Free||View in iTunes|
|8||Projective Identification||What projective identification is, how it links in with projection and where it sits in a social setting.||1:33||Free||View in iTunes|
||Starting with psychology||The most ‘important and greatest puzzle’ we face as humans is ourselves (Boring, 1950, p. 56). Humans are a puzzle – one that is complex, subtle and multi-layered, and it gets even more complicated as we evolve over time and change in different co||--||Free||View in iTunes|
||Martha Nussbaum on Disgust||--||--||Free||View in iTunes|
||The Holocaust||This unit explores the Holocaust, as the destruction of European Jewry is commonly known. The mass killing represented by the Holocaust raises many questions concerning the development of European civilisation during the twentieth century. This unit, th||--||Free||View in iTunes|
||Perspective: The insecurity of security||The stated purpose of the checkpoints and walls that control movement of Palestinians between Israel and the West Bank is to prevent terrorists from entering Israeli cities. This podcast explores their affect on the daily lives of people, and the dilemm||10:40||Free||View in iTunes|
|13||Terry Waite on the importance of communication||How was Terry Waite, a profound Christian, able to establish rapport and dialog with an Islamic extremist group?||1:51||Free||View in iTunes|
|14||Terry Waite on conflict and religious differences||Terry Waite looks back at his time being held captive in Beirut. He explains how the conflict was far more than just religious differences.||3:11||Free||View in iTunes|
|15||Terry Waite on the importance of a reconciler||Terry Waite explains how as a reconciler it is important to treat each new conflict with a unique view.||2:12||Free||View in iTunes|
|16||Terry Waite on the influence of the Archbishop of Canterbury||Terry Waite talks about how the Archbishop of Canterbury was able to help Desmond Tutu become a figure of power as the first black Archbishop of Cape Town.||2:18||Free||View in iTunes|
|17||Terry Waite: Peace in the Middle East||Terry Waite discusses breaking the cycle of hatred in the Middle East. He hopes for a leader to emerge and identify that there has to be reconciliation and peace.||2:13||Free||View in iTunes|
|18||Terry Waite on how academics can influence policy making||Terry Waite hopes to see academics providing a historical framework to politicians who are making important decisions.||1:52||Free||View in iTunes|
|19||Terry Waite’s inspirational figures||Terry Waite reflects on the inspirational figures in his life and how not even captivity could alter the power of the soul.||4:36||Free||View in iTunes|
|20||Police and the community||How community relations schemes are now an important aspect of police officer training programmes.||10:30||Free||View in iTunes|