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Nothing to lose - Hopelessness may increase violence in Palestine

People gather to get soup from a street kitchen
Image: Yousef Masoud/Pixabay

Palestinians in the occupied territories experience great despair and resignation. Social anthropologist Nina Gren's research in the area and contact with residents over 20 years has consistently revealed frustration and feelings of hopelessness.

Portrait Nina Gren. Photo: Emma Lord.
Nina Gren, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

In her article 'Palestinian conflict: how despair can drive people to violence, even if it puts their lives in danger' in The Conversation, Nina Gren describes how despair can be linked to the concept of 'illusio' and the importance of being able to influence one's situation and surroundings. The concept of illusio was coined by Pierre Bordieu to describe how refers to having an interest or a stake in the game. If illusio is missing for a group of people in society, they can create it themselves, sometimes using violence to bring about change. Illusio can help explain the many different ways that Palestinians deal with a desperate situation where they feel that they have nothing to lose.

Read Nina Gren's article on The Conversation.

About The Conversation

The Conversation is a research news site of which Lund University is a member. The articles can be freely republished by other media and have a global reach.