International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

Collective Action on Behalf of the Weaker: When a stronger minority group is willing to act on behal

Levente Salat, Faculty of Political Science, Babes Bolyai University, Cluj; Huseyin Cakal, University of Oxford; Miles Hewstone, University of Oxford

Conference: ISPP 2011
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

A cross-sectional study was conducted to test whether relative deprivation, its affective appraisal, and group efficacy could predict collective action tendencies both for the disadvantaged ingroup (Hungarian) and for another minority group (Roma). Based on data from Hungarian university students from Transylvania-Romania (n=290), we used measures of contact with the Romanian majority and Roma, ingroup identification and shared grievances with Roma as predictors, group efficacy and relative deprivation for the ingroup and the disadvantaged outgroup as mediators and collective action tendencies for the ingroup and on behalf of the ethnic Roma outgroup. Our model provided support for positive relationship between contact with the advantaged Romanian majority and collective action tendencies for the ingroup and also on behalf of the disadvantaged outgroup via group efficacy, relative deprivation and acknowledgement of relative deprivation of the Roma. Consistent with the earlier research on collective action, social identification with the ingroup predicted collective action tendencies both for the ingroup and the outgroup Roma directly and indirectly via group efficacy, relative deprivation and acknowledgement of relative deprivation for the weaker out-group. Surprisingly, shared grievances and contact with Roma did not predict collective action tendencies on behalf of them. Results show that contact with the majority might have a spill-over effect on collective action for the weaker and more disadvantaged outgroup. An additional finding of the study was the strong moderating effect of anger. When anger was high contact with out-campus friends did not predict relative deprivation but when anger was low contact significantly and negatively predicted relative deprivation. The results reveal an intriguing link between intergroup contact and collective action on behalf of a weaker and more disadvantaged group causing the relatively stronger minority group to act both for its own position and to improve the weaker group’s position. Affective appraisal of the perceived injustice by the stronger minority group also seems to influence collective action tendencies on behalf of the weaker minority.