Socioeconomic Status, Intergroup Daily Contact and Identity Strategies: The Case of Palestinian Muslim and Christians Citizens of Israel

Serene Mjally-Knani, Shifra Sagy, Adi Mana, Anan Srour


Our research deals with "intergroup relation" and relates to the way individuals from specific groups perceive people from the "other" group. Do they tend to separate from them, or to integrate between the two cultures, and how they build social interactions with them (Berry, 1990). Based on a theoretical and research frame of intergroup relations, the relations between two minority groups are studied: Palestinian Muslim and Christian Citizens of Israeltwo Palestinian Arab religious groups, living in the state of Israel, where the dominant group is Jews.

The current study examined the relations between socioeconomic status (SES) and identity and acculturation strategies in relations between groups

At first, the research model examined the differences between Muslims and Christians. Then, the relations between SES (independent variable) and the adoption of the strategies (dependent variable) among the two groups. As expected, significant differences were found between Muslims and Christians in most variables. Christians reported higher levels of SES than Muslims. In addition, Christians adopted more social competition, while Muslims tended more to adopt integration.

Possible explanations for the findings are presented in the discussion. Further study could examine whether the findings of the current study were changed by the events occurring in the Arab world from 2011 to 2014: the government coups, civil wars and the horrendous acts of the terrorist organization "ISIS" in various Arab countries.

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