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Original scientific paper

“We” Cannot be Guilty?! Ethnic Identity and In-group Justification as Determinants of Experiencing Collective Guilt

Dinka Čorkalo Biruški orcid id ; Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb
Andreja Magoč ; Antun Bauer PS, Vukovar

Full text: croatian pdf 234 Kb

page 211-231

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The aim of this study was to relate the collective guilt, ethnic identity and in-group justifications on the sample of Croats and Serbs from the city of Vukovar, to explore differences between these groups and to predict collective guilt based on ethnic identity and in-group justifications. The research was conducted in the city of Vukovar with a sample of 70 participants of Croatian and 80 participants of Serbian origin, aged between 18 and 35 years. The results show no difference between Croats and Serb in collective guilt acceptance; however, Croats assign collective guilt more, they justify their in-group actions more, and have a stronger ethnic identity. As expected, there are positive correlations between ethnic identity, collective guilt assignment and in-group justifications. Collective guilt acceptance and the ethnic identity are negatively related, as well as the collective guilt acceptance and in-group justifications. The in-group justifications predict significantly a criterion of collective guilt acceptance in both samples: the more one justifies the in-group actions the less he/she accepts collective guilt. Ethnic identity contributes significantly in predicting the collective guilt assignment in the Croatian sample, and the in-group justifications contribute significantly in explaining the variance of the collective guilt assignment in the Serbian sample. The implications of the results for the future intergroup relations in the city of Vukovar and other post-conflict communities are discussed.


collective guilt assignment, collective guilt acceptance, ethnic identity, in-group justifications, Vukovar

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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