When ownership hurts: Remembering the in-group wrongdoings after a long lasting collective amnesia : Human Affairs Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Human Affairs

Postdisciplinary Humanities & Social Sciences Quarterly

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.191
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.378
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.190

99,00 € / $149.00 / £75.00*

See all formats and pricing

Select Volume and Issue
Loading journal volume and issue information...

When ownership hurts: Remembering the in-group wrongdoings after a long lasting collective amnesia

1Department of Communication and Social Research Sapienza, University of Rome, via Salaria 113, Rome, 00198, Italy

© 2012 Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Human Affairs. Volume 22, Issue 4, Pages 603–612, ISSN (Online) 1337-401X, ISSN (Print) 1210-3055, DOI: 10.2478/s13374-012-0048-6, September 2012

Publication History

Published Online:


This study explores the effects of two different kinds of text addressed to young Italian students, which convey past in-group war-crimes either in a detailed or in an evasive way. After completing a first questionnaire (and confirming the social amnesia on these crimes) a sample of Italian university students (number: 103; average age: 21.79) read two versions (factual vs. evasive) of a same historical text on Italian invasion of Ethiopia (1935–36). The results show that participants reading a detailed text feel react more emotionally and feel more involved. However, the more negative reactions linked to the detailed text were also associated to a stronger will to repair intergroup relations with the descendents of ancient victims of the in-group crimes. Positive consequences of negative emotions linked to detailed text that challenge a widespread collective amnesia of war crimes are discussed.

Keywords: collective amnesia; historical narratives; war crimes; colonialism

  • [1] Albanesi, C., Cicognani, E., Zani, B. (2007). Sense of Community, Civic Engagement and Social Wellbeing in Italian Adolescents. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 17, 387–406. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/casp.903 [CrossRef]

  • [2] Arendt, H. (1958). The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • [3] Del Boca, A. (1992). L’Africa nella coscienza degli italiani. Miti, memorie, errori e sconfitte. (Africa in Italian Consciousness. Myths, Memories, Wrong-doings and Defeats). Milano: Mondadori.

  • [4] Doosje, B., Branscobe, N.R., Spears, R., Manstead, A.S.R. (2006). Antecedents and Consequences of Group-Based Guilt: The Effects of Ingroup Identification. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations 9, 325–338. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1368430206064637 [CrossRef]

  • [5] Hammack, P. L., Pilecki, A. (2012). Narrative as a Root Metaphor for Political Psychology. Political Psychology 33, 75–103. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2011.00859.x [CrossRef] [Web of Science]

  • [6] László, J. (2003). History, Identity and Narratives. In J. László, W. Wagner (Eds.). Theories and Controversies in Societal Psychology. Budapest: New Mandate.

  • [7] Leone, G. (2011). La riconciliazione tra gruppi (Intergroup reconciliation). Roma: Carocci.

  • [8] Leone, G., Mastrovito, T. (2010). Learning about Our Shameful Past: A Socio-Psychological Analysis of Present-Day Historical Narratives of Italian Colonial Wars. International Journal of Conflict and Violence 4, 11–27.

  • [9] Leone, G., Sarrica, M. (submitted). Challenging The Myth of Italians as “Good Fellows”: Is Clarity about In-Group Crimes The Best Choice When Narrating about the War to Its Perpetrators’ Descendants?

  • [10] Nadler, A., Shnabel. N. (2008). Instrumental and Socioemotional Paths to Intergroup Reconciliation and the Needs-Based Model of Socioemotional Reconciliation. In A. Nadler, T.E. Malloy, J.D. Fisher (Eds.). The Social Psychology of Intergroup Reconciliation, pp. 37–56. New York: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300314.003.0003 [CrossRef]

  • [11] Ortega y Gasset, J. (1930). La rebelión de las masas (The Revolt of the Masses). Madrid.

  • [12] Pennebaker, J.W., Paez, D., Rimé, B. (Eds.). (1997). Collective Memories of Political Events: Social Psychological Perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

  • [13] Pivato, S. (2007). Vuoti di memoria: Usi e abusi della storia nella vita pubblica italiana (Loss of memories: uses and abuses of history in Italian public life). Rome and Bari: Laterza.

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Giovanna Leone and Mauro Sarrica
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2014, Volume 43, Page 126

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.