Understanding how Common Ingroup Identity Undermines Collective Action Among Disadvantaged-Group Members

Past research has consistently demonstrated that creating a sense of a common ingroup identity can be beneficial for reducing intergroup tensions and creating intergroup harmony. At the same time, however, creating a strong sense of a common ingroup identity has elements that may undermine disadvantaged-group members’ motivation for collective action toward social change. In the present paper, we report two experiments that investigated how, compared to salient separate ethnic/racial identities, increasing the salience of a common US identity among Blacks and Latinos results in lower collective action intentions. These effects were mediated by a reduction in group-based anger and group- efficacy beliefs, and, in Experiment 2, reduced recognition of group-based inequality in society as well. Increasing salience of common ingroup and separate group identities simultaneously (a dual identity), however, did not decrease collective action intentions. These results suggest that not recategorization in itself, but an exclusive focus on common ingroup identity undermines motivation for social change.

Citation
Ufkes, E. G., Calcagno, J., Glasford, D. E., & Dovidio, J. F. (2016). Understanding how common ingroup identity undermines collective action among disadvantaged-group members. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 63, 26–35. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2015.11.006

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Included But Invisible? Subtle Bias, Common Identity, and the Darker Side of “We”

The present article discusses how seemingly well-intended policies and interventions to reduce intergroup bias by emphasizing colorblindness through overarching commonalities between groups may, either unintentionally or strategically, inhibit efforts to address group-based inequities. First, we discuss the roots of bias in social categorization process, and how changing the way people think about group memberships from separate groups to members of the same group with shared identity improves intergroup attitudes. Second, we describe the subtle nature of contemporary biases, which can help obscure group-based inequities. Third, we explain how and why majority and minority groups may have different preferences for recategorization and consider the potential consequences of these different perspectives for recognizing and addressing disparity and discrimination. We conclude by considering the policy and structural implications of these processes for achieving more equitable societies, not only in principle but also in practice.

Citation
Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Ufkes, E. G., Saguy, T., & Pearson, A. R. (2016). Included but Invisible? Subtle Bias, Common Identity, and the Darker Side of “We.” Social Issues and Policy Review, 10, 6–46. http://doi.org/10.1111/sipr.12017

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Identity and collective action among European Kurds

This research investigated the role of group-based anger and efficacy in explaining the effects of subgroup (ethnic) and common (European) identity on collective action among Kurds in Europe responding to different types of disadvantage. Whereas stronger Kurdish identity positively predicted intentions for collective action (mediated by anger and efficacy), stronger common ingroup identity was negatively related to collective action intentions. This effect occurred primarily when structural disadvantage was salient, not when attention was drawn to a specific incident of disadvantage, and was mediated by anger but not efficacy. The findings complement recent work demonstrating that intergroup harmony can undermine social change, suggesting that stronger common-group identification reduces collective action by reducing minority-group members’ sensitivity to potential bias against them.

Citation
Ufkes, E. G., Dovidio, J. F., & Tel, G. (2015). Identity and collective action among European Kurds. British Journal of Social Psychology, 54, 176–186. doi:10.1111/bjso.12084

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Urban District Identity as a Common Ingroup Identity: The Different Role of Ingroup Prototypicality for Minority and Majority Groups

In this paper we examined how identification with urban districts as an overarching identity (Gaertner & Dovido, 2000) and perceived ingroup prototypicality (Mummendey & Wenzel, 1999) influence the attitudes of residents toward other ethnic groups in their neighborhood. The overall conclusion of two field studies (N = 214 and N = 98) is that for majority-group members there may be a positive relation between identification with an overarching identity and outgroup attitudes, but only when they perceive their ingroup as low in prototypicality for the overarching group (Study 1 and 2). Conversely, for minority-group members there may be a positive relation between identification and outgroup attitudes, but only when they perceive their ingroup as high in prototypicality for the overarching group (Study 2). Outgroup prototypicality did not moderate the relation between identification and outgroup attitudes.

Citation
Ufkes, E. G., Otten, S., Van der Zee, K. I., Giebels, E., & Dovidio, J. F. (2012). Urban district identity as a common ingroup identity: The different role of ingroup prototypicality for minority and majority groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42 , 706-716. doi:10.1002/ejsp.1888.

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