Inclusive narratives of suffering
It has been proposed that one important step toward rebuilding constructive social relationships in the aftermath of mass violence lies in overcoming a collective mindset that confines experiences of loss within exclusively defined communities. A decade of research has shown how inclusive victimhood consciousness - the sense that the losses and struggles endured by one’s own group can be meaningfully connected to losses and struggles endured by other groups - facilitates forms of social engagement that strive towards reconciliation, reparation and prevention of further injustice. Such findings open interesting new perspectives on transitional justice as an inclusive process, during which people can discover commonalities in grievances beyond the boundaries of communities they are conventionally associated with. However, inclusive victim narratives are also used strategically for different political purposes, and there are risks associated with overly inclusive narratives. The meaning and consequences of inclusive narratives can differ, depending notably on the power relations involved. Drawing on examples from Sri Lanka, Turkey and other societies grappling with the aftermath of violent conflict and mass atrocities, this chapter addresses both the promise and the pitfalls of inclusive narratives in transitional justice.
In the Shadow of Transitional Justice: Cross-national Perspectives on the Transformative Potential of Remembrance
Vollhardt, Johanna Ray; Twali, Michelle Sinayobye; and Jayakody, Sumedha, "Inclusive narratives of suffering" (2021). Psychology. 634.