The past as a determinant of the present: Historical continuity, collective angst, and opposition to immigration

Jetten, Jolanda and Wohl, Michael J. A. (2012) The past as a determinant of the present: Historical continuity, collective angst, and opposition to immigration. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42 4: 442-450. doi:10.1002/ejsp.865


Author Jetten, Jolanda
Wohl, Michael J. A.
Title The past as a determinant of the present: Historical continuity, collective angst, and opposition to immigration
Journal name European Journal of Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0046-2772
1099-0992
Publication date 2012-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/ejsp.865
Volume 42
Issue 4
Start page 442
End page 450
Total pages 9
Place of publication Bognor Regis, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract We propose that the perceived continuity between a group's past and present can be a psychological resource that provides confidence in the group's future vitality, thereby reducing the need to preserve identity. In two studies, English participants were told that there was continuity or discontinuity between England's past and present. Both studies showed that higher identifiers (but not lower identifiers) experienced more collective angst (i.e., concern for the group's future) and were more opposed to immigration when English history was presented as discontinuous compared with continuous. Importantly, collective angst mediated the effect of the historical continuity manipulation on opposition to immigration. We conclude that, particularly among those higher in group identification, perceived discontinuity of the group's past can undermine the perceived vitality of the future, thereby increasing the need to preserve current collective identity.
Keyword Social identity
Intergroup discrimination
Autobiographical memory
Representations
Differentiation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 18 November 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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