Kudos Column: Dr. Gloria Jimenez-Moya
I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and an associate researcher at the Center for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES). I am a social psychologist and my work is broadly about intergroup relations, with special interest on socially disadvantaged and discriminated groups.
Research and recent publications
I have always been curious (as a researcher as well as a citizen) about the fact that sometimes members from underprivileged groups, not only seem to give up when it comes to their disadvantaged situation, but also seem to think that they deserve it somehow. What would be the consequences of such resignation for social change? If the disadvantaged perceive their situation as legitimate, unfair social hierarchies will always be stable (and justified). But, do all disadvantaged individuals accept their discrimination? During my PhD, I tried to answer some of these questions. I worked together with Rosa Rodríguez-Bailón and Russell Spears on this stimulating topic. We conducted studies in different countries and social contexts, focusing on diverse disadvantaged groups (they were disadvantaged to some extent but we highlighted their particular disadvantaged situation in our cover stories). Our main finding is consistent across studies: under circumstances in which the ingroup legitimizes the disadvantage those who highly identify with the ingroup challenge the ingroup norm, presumably in order to reach a better future. This finding is in line with the normative conflict model, developed by Dominic Packer (2008), which established that high identifiers are able to challenge the group when they perceive a conflict between what the ingroup does and what they think the ingroup should do.
During the last few months, I have been developing a related project in collaboration with Héctor Carvacho, Mónica Gerber, Roberto González, and Colette Van Laar. We are again focusing on a disadvantaged group: lower class individuals in Chilean society. In this case, however, we are interested in the way in which members of discriminated groups deal with their situation when they perceive that belonging to the group damages them and, at the same time, they do not identify strongly with the group. Following previous work by Belle Derks and colleagues (the so-called Queen Bee effect, e.g., Derks, Van Laar, Ellemers, & Raghoe, 2015), we expect that those lower class individuals who perceive high levels of discrimination, who have low levels of identification with the group, and who have, somehow, improved their social position tend to see the negative ingroup situation as legitimate. Further, we expect them to stereotype more other ingroup members, and perceive themselves as more similar to other higher status groups (as a way of escaping from the group).
To continue with discriminated groups, I also have prior interest in analyzing what happens when discriminated individuals confront those who show prejudiced behavior towards them. Research shows that those who face and confront discrimination tend to be perceived as complainers and tend to be evaluated negatively, which obviously is not good news (see Dodd, Giuliano, Boutell, & Moran, 2001; Kaiser & Miller, 2001). Together with Manuela Barreto, I am conducting several studies to try to disentangle, first, whether confronters are always negatively perceived and, second, if not, what are the variables that shape individuals' responses towards confronters.
Recently I have developed a significant interest in studying more optimistic topics, specifically the antecedents and promotion of prosocial behavior and civic engagement among adolescents. Our team led by Paula Luengo Kanacri is working in Chilean schools to introduce an intervention program called the ProCivicCo, which seeks to enhance social cohesion in long-term, through prosociality and civic commitment. Adolescents will be trained in self-efficacy, empathy, and emotion regulation, among other skills. We hope this intervention is able to create stronger ties among citizens and increase social cohesion, a dimension that has been shown to be quite low in current Chilean society.
Derks, B., Van Laar, C., Ellemers, N., & Raghoe, G. (2015). Extending the queen bee effect: How Hindustani workers cope with disadvantage by distancing the self from the group. Journal of Social Issues, 71, 476-496.
Dodd, E. H., Guiliano, T., Boutell, J., & Moran, B. E. (2002). Respected or rejected: Perceptions of women who confront sexist remarks. Sex Roles, 45, 567–77.
Kaiser, C. R., & Miller, C. T. (2001). Stop complaining! The social costs of making attributions to discrimination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 254–263.
Packer, D. J. (2008). On being both with us and against us: A normative conflict model of dissent in social groups. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 12, 50-72.