Superordinate Identification, Subgroup Identification, and Justice Concerns: Is Separatism the Problem; Is Assimilation the Answer?
The diversity of American society raises concerns about whether authorities can maintain social cohesion amid competing interests and values. The group-value model of justice suggests that authorities function more effectively when they are perceived as fair (e.g., benevolent, neutral, and respectful). However, such relational evaluations may be effective only if authorities represent a group with which people identify. In a diverse society, subgroup memberships may assume special importance. People who identify predominantly with a subgroup may focus on instrumental issues when evaluating a superordinate-group authority, and conflicts with that authority may escalate if those people do not receive favorable outcomes. Results indicate that subgroup identification creates problems for authorities only when people have strong subgroup identification and weak superordinate-group identification. As long as people identify strongly with the superordinate group, even if they also identify strongly with their subgroup, relational issues will dominate reactions to authorities.
Huo, YJ; Smith, HJ; Tyler, TR; Lind, EA
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