Seminars & Events

7 September 2015
15:15 - 17:00
Ruppert-building, room 103

Seminar: Elze G. Ufkes – University of Twente

Understanding When and How Inclusive Identities Undermine Motivation for Social Change Toward Equality Among Disadvantaged-Group Members.


As Wright (2009) observed, strategies for reducing prejudice can inadvertently create impediments to collective action among disadvantaged-group members, because these approaches can undermine many of the elements that foment collective action. Past research has consistently demonstrated that creating a sense of a common ingroup identity can be beneficial for reducing intergroup tensions and creating intergroup harmony. At the same time, however, such inclusive identities have elements that theoretically undermine disadvantaged group members’ motivation for social change. The present work integrates perspectives on common ingroup identities and collective action to investigate if, and under what conditions, common ingroup identities undermine motivation for action toward social change among disadvantaged-group members.

In this talk I will present three studies investigating how self-reported strength of identification with a common European ingroup identity among European Kurds (Study 1), and how increasing the salience of a common US ingroup identity among Blacks and Latino/as (Study 2 and 3) relate to lower motivation to engage in collective action for the disadvantaged ingroup. These effects could be explained by a reduction in group-based anger and collective efficacy, and, in Study 3, reduced recognition of general group-based inequality in society as well. I will further show how various conditions such as stability of the disadvantaged situation and increasing salience of common ingroup and separate group identities simultaneously (a dual identity) may affect social change motivation differently.

All together this works suggests that when harmony comes at the expense of acknowledging group difference and disparity it can relax motivations to achieve true equality. Alternatively, it may be possible to achieve mutual recognition of both group differences and commonality, as reflected in a dual identity representation of the common ingroup identity model and consistent with principles of multiculturalism, fostering both harmony and social change toward equality.

Dr. Elze G. Ufkes
University of Twente, the Netherlands