History and Government Faculty Publications

Title

Book Review: Cultural Contestation in Ethnic Conflict

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

4-2009

Journal Title

Political Psychology

Volume

30

Issue

2

First Page

323

Last Page

325

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2008.00694.x

Abstract

Reviews the book, Cultural contestation in ethnic conflict by Marc Howard Ross (2007). In his attempt to bring greater definitional use to the term culture, the author takes a broad approach with chapters on Northern Ireland, Catalonia, Israel, France, South Africa, and the American South. Abroad approach may serve to facilitate an understanding of what culture is and how it moves. Despite his impressive attempt to grapple with multiple identities, as the French headscarves case illuminates, it does not fully explain why Breuillyan sense of power is the dominant force within a state. Sport, however, is merely a tool within Ross’s psychocultural framework that he applies to the arguments throughout the book with the purpose of bridging incompatible identities and addressing basic threats. Conflict mitigation, with requisite attention to psychocultural narratives, may be advanced in this manner. Emphasis on psychological explanations for solving conflict, both timid and fissiparous, has become increasingly en vogue in recent times. This trend has occurred for good reason given the attention paid to symbolism, political entrepreneurs, and historical grievances and threats of group extinction. The author should be applauded for melding numerous and diverse cases into one succinct account.

Keywords

Cultural contestation, ethnic conflict, culture, conflict mitigation

Comments

Review of Cultural Contestation in Ethnic Conflict by Marc Howard Ross. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 2007.


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