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From Ethnocentrism to Collective Protest: Responses to Relative Deprivation and Threats to Social Identity

Peter R. Grant and Rupert Brown
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 58, No. 3 (Sep., 1995), pp. 195-212
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2787042
Page Count: 18
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From Ethnocentrism to Collective Protest: Responses to Relative Deprivation and Threats to Social Identity
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Abstract

This experiment examined the hypotheses that both collective relative deprivation (CRD) and perceived threat to social identity increase the intention to engage in collective protest actions and expressions of ethnocentrism. Fifty-three pairs of female student groups developed a position on whether women should be encouraged to apply for high-status, responsible jobs-an issue they felt was important. Feedback supposedly giving the other group's position on the issue either didi or did not threaten the subject's social identity. Then each group evaluated the other's position. False evaluations met or unfairly violated the expectation that approximately $10 per group member would be paid for experimental participation, manipulating CRD. The hypothesis for collective relative deprivation was supported. In particular, results from a series of hierarchical regression analyses suggest that the relationship between expectancy violation and collective action was mediated by feelings of dissatisfaction, discontent, and unfairness (the affective component of CRD), as collective relative deprivation theory would predict. The threat-to-identity manipulation generally had weaker and more ambiguous effects. However, the analyses supported the hypothesis that the relationship between strength of group identity and intergroup differentiation is stronger under circumstances that heighten the collective interdependence of the group (the deprived conditions). The implications of these results for studying the escalation of intergroup conflict from a social psychological perspective are discussed.

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