Terrorist Participation Despite Social Influences Opposing Violent Extremism: A Qualitative Study among Young Jihadists in Spain
This article uses a sample of 11 juveniles involved in jihadism in Spain to analyze how they experienced and resisted disagreement with members of their personal networks. Drawing on data from interviews, criminal proceedings, and oral trials, the study provides support for a theoretical framework that holds that: (1) opposing ties attempt to leverage informational and normative forms of influence (confrontation of perspectives, exposure to warnings, and application of pressures and constraints) to induce attitudinal change, and that (2) these mechanisms are countered through cognitive and social resistance strategies (contestation, selective social exposure, and circumvention). The research suggests how social disagreement can counterintuitively contribute to mobilizing young people for political violence.
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