Title

What is Peacebuilding and Why Does it Matter? A case study of the Cypriot Youth Camps at the School for International Training

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

John Ungerleider

Abstract

Which groups we are a part of and which groups we are not a part of has huge impacts on how we view ourselves and the world. When the group we belong to is part of a multi-generational, nation-wide ethnic conflict, our group affiliation has grand impacts on our behaviors and thoughts. Social identity theory provides a background for understanding how individuals see themselves, and how others see them. "What is a Peacebuilder and Does it Matter?: A case study of the Cypriot Youth Camps at the School for International Training" is a study which began in July 2004 and ended in July 2005. This inquiry explores how adolescent participants shifted their group affiliation. The research question asks how participation at the School for International Training's Cypriot peacebuilding camp affected the participants identification as peacebuilders, if at all. Using social identity theory and role identity theory, this inquiry examines how students see themselves as peacebuilders, if that affects their actions, and what role did the School for International Training's peacebuilding camp have on creating these identities. Written surveys and observing an on-line list serve were used as methods of gathering information. The data collected points to ways in which camp participants formed their sense of themselves as peacebuilders and how those views shaped the way they acted as peacebuilders. This paper seeks to explore how youth participants in peace camps create individual identities and open the opportunities of utilizing adolescent identity formation in peace camps. This study could be a launching point for future research into utilizing adolescent development theory in peacebuilding. Peacebuilding camps can utilize the finding of this inquiry to explicitly utilize adolescent identity formation in their camp design and implementation.

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