Hope is viewed as a positive emotion associated with the motivation to change existing conditions. As such, it is highly relevant for social change, particularly when considering disadvantaged groups. We propose that, in the context of unequal intergroup relations, hope may actually undermine motivation for change among disadvantaged group members. Specifically, we distinguish between hope targeted at harmony with the outgroup and hope targeted at social equality between groups. Drawing on insights regarding the consequences of positive intergroup interactions, we predict that hope for harmony with the outgroup can undermine the constructive tension that motivates the disadvantaged toward equality. Across four studies, involving different intergroup contexts, hope for harmony was negatively associated with disadvantaged group members' motivation for collective action. We further found that high identifiers from the disadvantaged group were immune to this effect. We discuss theoretical and practical implications for the role of hope in social change.
- collective action
- INTERGROUP CONTACT