Why Do the Privileged Resort to Oppression ? A Look at Some Intragroup Factors

Postmes, Tom and Smith, Laura G. E. (2009) Why Do the Privileged Resort to Oppression ? A Look at Some Intragroup Factors. Journal of Social Issues, 65 4: 769-790. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2009.01624.x

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Author Postmes, Tom
Smith, Laura G. E.
Title Why Do the Privileged Resort to Oppression ? A Look at Some Intragroup Factors
Journal name Journal of Social Issues   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-4537
Publication date 2009-12
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2009.01624.x
Volume 65
Issue 4
Start page 769
End page 790
Total pages 22
Editor Sheri R Levy
Place of publication United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
1701 Psychology
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Abstract This article shows that (intergroup) oppression can be strategically motivated by (intragroup) processes. It is often assumed that high-status groups oppress when their social position is declining (relative deprivation). Counterintuitively, research shows that oppression also occurs when their position is improving (gratification): a curvilinear relationship referred to as "the v-curve effect." We test the hypothesis that this relationship is due to intragroup processes within the high-status group: individuals respond strategically to elite norms. Two experiments manipulated participants' future prospects: to join the nation's elite in future (relative gratification), social stasis, or status decline (relative deprivation, Study 2). Elite norms toward immigrants (positive, negative) were manipulated independently. The curvilinear relationship was only found when norms were negative. In other words, those who anticipate joining the elite tailor their actions to the norms of their prospective in-group.
Formatted abstract
This article shows that (intergroup) oppression can be strategically motivated by (intragroup) processes. It is often assumed that high-status groups oppress when their social position is declining (relative deprivation). Counterintuitively, research shows that oppression also occurs when their position is improving (gratification): a curvilinear relationship referred to as "the v-curve effect." We test the hypothesis that this relationship is due to intragroup processes within the high-status group: individuals respond strategically to elite norms. Two experiments manipulated participants' future prospects: to join the nation's elite in future (relative gratification), social stasis, or status decline (relative deprivation, Study 2). Elite norms toward immigrants (positive, negative) were manipulated independently. The curvilinear relationship was only found when norms were negative. In other words, those who anticipate joining the elite tailor their actions to the norms of their prospective in-group.
Keyword SOCIAL IDENTITY MODEL
V-CURVE HYPOTHESIS
RELATIVE GRATIFICATION
INTERGROUP HOSTILITY
COLLECTIVE ACTION
GROUP POSITION
PREJUDICE
DEPRIVATION
RACISM
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 22 Nov 2009, 00:02:56 EST