Neighborhood Conflicts: the Role of Social Categorization

A major problem in many deteriorated neighborhoods is the high level of social conflict. In a field study, we investigated the effect of social categorization upon negative emotions and behavioral intentions of residents in conflict situations. First, we assessed whether the black sheep effect would apply to neighborhood conflicts. We found that, both native-Dutch and Turkish residents (N = 529) reported more negative emotions towards an ingroup rather than an outgroup antagonist in a conflict situation. In addition we found that, when confronted with an outgroup antagonist, stereotype negativity related to more negative emotions and behavioral intentions. We conclude that, being in conflict with a member of another group does not necessarily enhance changes for escalation—negative stereotypes, however, do.

Ufkes E. G., Otten, S., Van der Zee, K. I., & Giebels, E. (2012). Neighborhood conflicts: The role of social categorization. International Journal of Conflict Management, 3, 290-306. doi:10.1108/10444061211248985

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