The Activist in All of Us: Varieties of Action and Low Power Attempts to Challenge Status Hierarchies
45 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2004
Date Written: October 9, 2004
When will individuals accept or reject systems that subordinate them, when will they take actions that will challgenge these status hierarchies, and when will such challenges be more intense, overt and non-normative? Recent research suggests that individuals will justify and maintain systems that subordinate them (Jost & Banaji, 1994), yet we suggest that certain boundary conditions predict when individuals will no longer accept their place in such systems. We propose a model that examines how multiple factors - a sense of power (Keltner, Gruenfeld & Anderson, 2003), emotions associated with power (Tiedens, 2001a), and perceptions of the system's legitimacy, stability and permeability to individual advancement (Tajfel & Turner, 1986) - predict when those in low power will act against authority or when they will act to justify and maintain such systems. We also suggest that the level and type of action taken against hierarchies changes as more of the elements (i.e. sense of power, emotions, perceptions of the status hierarchy) of our model are present. We predict that the actions taken against hierarchies become more overt and non-normative as more of these factors are present.
Keywords: Power, Emotions, Perceptions of Justice
JEL Classification: D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation