Changing the world together? Exploring motivations and barriers to social change efforts

Siwar Aslih

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    This thesis examines two ways in which disadvantaged group members in intergroup conflict can work across group boundaries to promote social change: envisioning a shared future with the advantaged group (i.e., hope) and engagement in collective action with the outgroup to achieve social change (i.e., joint collective action). We conducted 8 empirical studies across two intergroup contexts (Israel/Palestine and USA), employing correlational, experimental, and longitudinal research designs. In Chapter 2 we reveal that hope for a shared future (i.e., harmony-focused hope) decreases collective action intentions particularly among disadvantaged group members whose ingroup identification is lower. The findings of Chapter 3 demonstrate that identification with one’s group can motivate the disadvantaged to participate in collective action that emphasizes such identity, but that it does not necessarily facilitate joint action with outgroup members, especially when the conflict between the groups is more intense. The research in Chapter 4 shows that the decision to partake in joint action is a function of cost-benefit calculations, particularly whether the action is instrumental in achieving goals versus whether it normalizes power relations between the groups. In addition, we found that high identifiers are more prone to the influence of normalization, such that it undermines their willingness to engage in joint action but not of those who are lower on identification. This thesis highlights the distinct psychology of joint collective action and the challenge that comes with the decision to “sleep with the enemy” and provides theoretical and practical implications to the study and practice of collective action.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • van Zomeren, Martijn, Supervisor
    • Halperin, Eran, Supervisor, External person
    • Saguy, Tamar, Co-supervisor, External person
    Award date24-Jun-2021
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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