Ethnic and university identities across the college years: A common in-group identity perspective

Shana Levin, Stacey Sinclair, Jim Sidanius, Colette Van Laar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The common in-group identity model advocates the creation of a superordinate group identity in order to reduce conflict between members of different ethnic subgroups. This study demonstrates that a university identity can serve as an effective common in-group identity for students from different ethnic groups. Longitudinal data were collected from an ethnically diverse sample of university students at the end of each year of college. Although ethnic identification tended to be correlated with status-legitimizing orientations and ideologies in a way that reinforces ethnic-status differences (i.e., these variables tended to be positively related for Whites but less so for ethnic minorities), the status-legitimizing variables were largely unrelated to university identification during each year in college. The longitudinal data also allowed us to examine these relationships over time. The relationships between ethnic and university identification and status-legitimizing orientations and ideologies did not change. Ethnic and university identities are discussed in terms of the common in-group identity model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-306
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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