International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

Legitimacy and Permeability of Group Boundaries as Mediators of Collective Action and Intergroup Con

Meltem Guler, Ankara University; Huseyin Cakal, University of Oxford; Miles Hewstone, University of Oxford

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

Two studies examined the effect of intergroup contact and quality of contact on endorsement of collective action tendencies taken by the out-group, collective action taken by the in-group and outgroup evaluations among Turkish and Kurdish group members in Turkey.  As expected, intergroup contact and quality of contact were positively associated with outgroup evaluation. Additionally, there was an indirect path from quality of contact to endorsement of collective action taken by the disadvantaged outgroup and outgroup evaluation via legitimacy and permeability of group boundaries. There was an indirect path between contact and outgroup evaluation via permeability too (Study 1, n=245) among the advantaged group (Turkish) members. The out-group for this study was the Kurdish group.  In study 2 (n=196, Kurdish), intergroup contact and quality of contact were negatively and directly associated with collective action tendencies benefitting the disadvantaged in-group via permeability and legitimacy of group boundaries. Conversely, both contact and quality of contact were positively and directly associated with the endorsement of collective action taken by the advantaged outgroup. This effect was partially mediated again by permeability and legitimacy of group boundaries. Overall both studies provided evidence in support of the mediating role of group boundaries between contact and collective action tendencies. We discuss the empirical and theoretical implications for intergroup contact, social identity and collective action research and for policies relating to Turkish and Kurdish groups in Turkey.