Support for asymmetric violence among Arab populations: The clash of cultures, social identity, or counterdominance?

Jim Sidanius*, Nour Kteily, Shana Levin, Felicia Pratto, Milan Obaidi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Using a random sample of 383 Muslims and Christians in Lebanon and Syria, we explored the degree of public support for two distinct kinds of asymmetric violence—“fundamentalist violence” and “resistance violence”—against the United States as a function of three explanatory narratives: a clash of cultures narrative, social identity/self-categorization theory, and a counterdominance perspective. Multiple regression analyses showed that the factors most closely associated with support of asymmetric violence among Arab populations was very much dependent upon the type of asymmetric violence. Among both Christians and Muslims, the results showed that perceived incompatibility between Arab and American cultures was the best predictor of support for fundamentalist violence, while perceived American domination of the Arab world was the distinctly strongest predictor of support for resistance violence. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-359
Number of pages17
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2016


  • asymmetric violence
  • clash of civilizations
  • counterdominance
  • social identity
  • terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Support for asymmetric violence among Arab populations: The clash of cultures, social identity, or counterdominance?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this