Daniel Bar-Tal, born in Dushanbe, Russia, in 1946. Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Professor of Social Psychology at Tel-Aviv University.
Golestan Fellow (1 September 2000 – 30 June 2001)
During my stay at NIAS, I wrote eight chapters of a book entitled “Stereotypes and Prejudice in Conflicts: The Case of the Perception of Arabs in the Israeli Society”, which I am co-authoring with Professor Yona Teichman and which will be published by Cambridge University Press. The book tries to apply a general and universal conceptual framework to the study of the acquisition and development of stereotypes and prejudice in cases of intractable conflict. One particular case will be explored: How Arab stereotypes and prejudice evolve and are maintained by Jewish society in the State of Israel, and how they are acquired by the new generations. The Arab image in Israel was studied because Jewish society has been engaged in intractable conflict with Arabs for the last 100 years. The ‘Arab’ as a social category has become the most significant and the most frequently used term in the Arab-Israeli conflict over the years, both with respect to the general group (i.e. Arabs) as well as to a specific group (for example, the Palestinians). On the basis of knowledge accumulated in social, developmental, and political psychology, sociology, political science, cultural studies and communication, the book first presents an integrative conceptual framework that makes it possible to deal with questions such as: How and why do stereotypes, prejudice and emotions about the adversary come to being, and what are their contents? What functions do they fulfil? How are they transmitted by societal channels of communication and by political, social, cultural and educational institutions? What are the consequences of this repertoire? How do young children acquire them? And finally: How do their contents change through the years of childhood and adolescence?