International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

11E Intergroup Contact and Collective Action: Is there a midway?

(Session Organizer) Huseyin Cakal, University of Oxford; (Chair) Stephen Reicher, University of St Andrews; (Discussant) Stephen Reicher, University of St Andrews; (Discu

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: University of Oxford
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

While there is little doubt about the effectiveness of intergroup contact in reducing prejudice and improving intergroup relations, a growing body of theoretical and empirical work has already criticized whether prejudice reduction necessarily leads to social change. One alternative approach is collective action where social change is instigated by those who are most likely to benefit from it, namely the disadvantaged. However, not much is known about the processes under and by which these two paths, prejudice reduction and collective action, interact by means of intergroup contact. This panel combines four papers on different aspects of this interaction. The selection of papers is broad, and uses data from on a number of different intergroup contexts, including racial, ethnic and social (South Africa, Romania, Turkey and Cyprus respectively). The presentations discuss issues such as the different effects of contact and an array of its mediators (trust, perspective taking, anxiety, perceived threats) on collective action tendencies and support for policies concerning the out-groups (both advantaged and disadvantaged), on the one hand, and the impact of socio-structural group boundaries and known predictors of collective action i.e. group efficacy, relative deprivation and social identity, on the other. The cumulative results show that while established predictors of collective action do a very good job in explaining collective action tendencies, the effects of contact are somewhat mixed, and mediated via different variables among the advantaged and disadvantaged. Cumulative results are discussed as they relate to social change.