Social status and the pursuit of positive social identity: Systematic domains of intergroup differentiation and discrimination for high- and low-status groups

Julian A. Oldmeadow, Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on intergroup discrimination has focused on the cognitive and motivational mechanisms involved, but the role of stereotype content has been neglected. Drawing on social identity theory and stereotype content research, the current studies investigated the role of stereotype content in intergroup differentiation and discrimination. Across two studies, students from high- and low-status groups differentiated themselves positively on stereotypes of competence and warmth respectively, and in allocations of resources in domains relevant to competence (academics, research) and warmth (sports, community outreach). Furthermore, there was evidence that discrimination by high- and low-status groups was driven by their respective stereotypes of competence and warmth. It is argued that stereotypes of competence and warmth, derived from status and power relations between groups, define the domains in which groups pursue positively distinct identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-444
Number of pages20
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • discrimination
  • positive distinctiveness
  • social identity
  • status
  • stereotype content

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