Civil Society Iraq: Location Influences on Outgroup Perception (June 2004)

Gresham, Dr. JN (2004) Civil Society Iraq: Location Influences on Outgroup Perception (June 2004). [Preprint]

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A significant research question in the immediate post-war (May 2003) environment of Iraq was: "How do Iraqis’ location affect expressed perceptions of threat from outgroups?" We collected 479 surveys of Iraqi opinions, in five locations (in Iraq, Jordan, and The Netherlands), with a single page instrument. Religion, ethnic origin, like location alone, had little strong bearing on respondents’ expressed attitudes towards outgroups or the government in Iraq. However, certain sets of interacting elements did reflect significant differences in perceptions of threat. For example, Shi’a Muslims of urban Basra had very different expressions towards return of expatriate Iraqis than did Shi’a Muslims of rural Basra. A serendipitous innovation was that of publishing our research process onto a "wiki" web page where visitors could add to or change contents of the documents. The wiki live publishing helped fellow scientists, decision-makers, resource agencies, and Iraq fieldworkers participate in our project. Why Civil Society? The term describes both behavior and social systems and provides an overarching framework from which to explore social interactions in Iraq. Follow-up is warranted. We found, for example, that "moderate Arabs" in Iraq were the most opposed to foreign involvement and were the most opposed to expatriate Iraqis returning to Iraq. This finding is relevant to decision-makers and field workers in relief, development, and reconstruction in Iraq. This paper describes our research process in a post-regime-change environment. I would welcome comments onto the web site:

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:iraq, civil society, shi'a, shia, mesopotamia, wiki, gresham, ercomer, interethnic, social capital
Subjects:Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:3693
Deposited By: Gresham, Dr. JN
Deposited On:28 Jun 2004
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

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