On the way to fusion through the pilgrims’ route: Factors that maintain identity fusion in collective rituals

Roberto M. Lobato, Mario Sainz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Identity fusion, a visceral union between personal and group identity is considered to be triggered and maintained by collective rituals with certain characteristics (e.g., opaque causal actions, synchrony, high excitement) and by recalling such rituals. The purpose of the present research was to determine the factors that maintain identity fusion after taking part in the pilgrimage of the Way of Saint James. We conducted a study with pilgrims (N = 609) to analyze the factors associated with the characteristics of rituals (Wave 1; finishing point of the pilgrimage) and the sharing of episodic memories (Wave 2; three months later) that contribute to maintaining identity fusion. Results indicated that engaging in ritual practices and recalling episodic memories of the pilgrimage through contact with other pilgrims contribute to maintaining identity fusion. The importance of contact after taking part in the ritual is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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