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The Two‐Sided Nature of Individual and Intragroup Experiences in the Aftermath of Collective Victimization: Findings from Four Diaspora Groups


European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


Most social psychological research on collective victimhood has examined its consequences for intergroup relations. Less attention has been paid to individual and intragroup processes associated with collective victimization, which the present study aimed to examine. We conducted eight focus group interviews among four diaspora communities (Armenian Americans, Burundian refugees, Jewish Americans, Nepali‐speaking Bhutanese refugees) with historical or more recent experiences of collective victimization. Thematic analysis revealed three major foci shared across communities (but with different emphases within each focus), which included juxtaposed themes that highlight the two‐sided nature of experiencing and coping with collective victimization and its aftermath: vulnerability and struggle versus resilience and strength; loss versus continuity and renewal; and silence about versus transmission of knowledge about ingroup victimization. These findings illustrate how groups integrate seemingly opposite poles of collective victimization that characterize this complex and multifaceted experience, which has important theoretical implications.