Appeasement: Pro-Hierarchy Dominant Group Members’ Strategic Support for Affirmative Action
46 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2012
Date Written: June 15, 2012
This paper explores the possibility that dominant group members engage in the tactic of appeasement in order to protect their group position. In four studies, we find that pro-hierarchy Whites perceive more intergroup threat when they believe ethnic minorities hold Whites in low regard, pro-hierarchy Whites respond to ethnic minorities’ low regard for Whites by increasing their support for redistributive policies (e.g. affirmative action), and the increase in support only occurs when pro-hierarchy Whites perceive the hierarchy to be unstable. These results suggest that pro-hierarchy dominant group members’ support for redistributive policies can stem from a concern about maintaining the hierarchical status quo, and provides evidence that support for redistributive policies can be a hierarchy-enhancing strategy.
Keywords: hierarchy maintenance, affirmative action, subordinate group regard, social dominance orientation
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