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Superordinate Identification, Subgroup Identification, and Justice Concerns: Is Separatism the Problem; Is Assimilation the Answer?

Yuen J. Huo, Heather J. Smith, Tom R. Tyler and E. Allan Lind
Psychological Science
Vol. 7, No. 1 (Jan., 1996), pp. 40-45
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40062905
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Superordinate Identification, Subgroup Identification, and Justice Concerns: Is Separatism the Problem; Is Assimilation the Answer?
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Abstract

The diversity of American society raises concerns about whether authorities can maintain social cohesion amid competing interests and values. The group-value model of justice suggests that authorities function more effectively when they are perceived as fair (e.g., benevolent, neutral, and respectful). However, such relational evaluations may be effective only if authorities represent a group with which people identify. In a diverse society, subgroup memberships may assume special importance. People who identify predominantly with a subgroup may focus on instrumental issues when evaluating a superordinate-group authority, and conflicts with that authority may escalate if those people do not receive favorable outcomes. Results indicate that subgroup identification creates problems for authorities only when people have strong sub-group identification and weak superordinate-group identification. As long as people identify strongly with the superordinate group, even if they also identify strongly with their subgroup, relational issues will dominate reactions to authorities.

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