The Effect of Conflict and Power Differentials on Social Identity and Intergroup Discrimination
30 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2002
Social identity theory posits that situational factors increase category salience that, in turn, brings intergroup bias, such as prejudice, stereotype, and discrimination. This study investigates the effects of two situational factors, conflict and power differentials, on social identity and intergroup discrimination. We hypothesize that high-conflict or high power differentials raise the strength of social identity and therefore result in greater intergroup discrimination. Result showed that intergroup power differentials had a direct effect on intergroup discrimination, not mediated by social identity strength. Additionally, different response patterns were found between male and female subjects, with females showing stronger gender identity and less intergroup discrimination than males. Male's gender identity was stable across conditions, while female showed greater variability of gender identity across conditions. Some implications on managing diversity were suggested.
Keywords: Social identity, Power and conflict, Intergroup discrimination
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