Collective Victimization

Johanna Ray Vollhardt

in The Oxford Handbook of Intergroup Conflict

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199747672
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Collective Victimization


This chapter discusses the role of collective victimization in inciting, sustaining, and preventing intergroup conflict. The emerging psychological literature on this topic has studied collective victimization that was experienced directly in one's lifetime, as well as collective victimization experienced indirectly, through transgenerational and societal transmission. Affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses to collective violence against the ingroup are discussed that affect intergroup relations with the perpetrator group and with other groups—in ways that either contribute to cycles of violence and revenge, or to constructive intergroup outcomes such as solidarity and reconciliation. Various types of victim beliefs that social psychologists have recently begun to study are broadly classified as conflict-specific or global, and as inclusive or exclusive victim beliefs. Additional factors are identified that might moderate the effects of collective victimization on intergroup outcomes. The chapter concludes with a discussion of interventions that have addressed the role of collective victimization and victim beliefs.

Keywords: Collective victimization; victimhood; transgenerational transmission; collective violence; cycles of violence; revenge; prosocial intergroup outcomes; solidarity; reconciliation; victim beliefs

Article.  16286 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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