Where did inaction go? Towards a broader and more refined perspective on collective actions

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Abstract

While injustice is widespread, collective action against it appears to be rare. This paper argues that this may be because research often focuses on a narrow range of outgroup‐oriented actions, such as demonstrating, signing petitions, that are symbolic of a collective response to injustice. The present work takes a bottom‐up approach to study a broad range of collective and individual actions that people undertake in response to collective injustice. Participants indicated actions they felt they could take (Study 1) and, via interviews, actually had taken (Study 2) in response to human‐induced earthquakes. These studies revealed a broad range of actions, many of which are collective but ingroup‐ (e.g., helping ingroup members) rather than outgroup‐oriented. Study 3 further conceptualized these collective and individual actions by including quantitative measures thereof in an assessment of responses to stressful life events that were collective or individual. Results revealed that, while traditional forms of collective action are rare, ingroup‐oriented and individual level (e.g., social support) responses form distinct dimensions in response to both individual and collective events. This work extends our understanding of responses to collective injustice and suggests the need to broaden the scope of collective action research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-667
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Volume58
Issue number3
Early online date21-Nov-2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2019

Keywords

  • SOCIAL IDENTITY
  • EMOTIONAL CLIMATE
  • DYNAMICS
  • PARTICIPATION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • LIFE
  • IDENTIFICATION
  • SOLIDARITY
  • PSYCHOLOGY
  • ATTITUDES

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