Group Identity Salience in Sacred Value Based Cultural Conflict: An Examination of the Hindu-Muslim Identities in the Kashmir and Babri Mosque Issues


The sacred values of a community are critical in understanding cultural conflict. When an attempt is made to trade a sacred value with a secular good, it evokes feelings of anger (taboo-tradeoff) but less so when that sacred value is traded off with another sacred value (tragic). Previous work has shown that participants who expressed sacred values for an issue were more resistant to taboo than tragic peace deals. Our objective in the present study was to extend these findings to conflicts between Hindus and Muslims over Kashmir and the Babri Mosque, the former more salient to Muslim identity and the latter more salient to Hindu identity. While replicating the previous interaction between sacred values and tradeoff type, we also found a moderating role of how salient an issue was for group identity. Only the participants for whom the issue was salient showed the previous correlates of sacred values.

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