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Determining our Destiny: Do Restrictions to Collective Autonomy Fuel Collective Action?, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Abstract

Groups experience collective autonomy restriction whenever they perceive that other groups attempt to limit thefreedom of their group to determine and express its own identity. We argue that collective autonomy restriction motivates groups (both structurally advantaged and disadvantaged) to improve their power position within the social hierarchy. Four studies spanning real-world (Studies 1 and 2) and lab-based (Studies 3 and 4) intergroup contexts supported these ideas. In Study 1 (N=311), Black Americans’ (a relatively disadvantaged group) experience of collective autonomy restriction was associated with greater support for collective action, and less system justification. In Study 2, we replicatedthese findings with another sample of Black Americans(N=292). We also found that collective autonomy restriction waspositively associated with White Americans’ (a relatively advantaged group, N=294) support for collective action and ideologiesthat bolsterWhite’s dominant position. In Study 3 (N=387, 97groups), groups that were susceptible to being controlled by a high-power group (i.e., were of low structural power) desired group power more when their collective autonomy was restricted (versus supported). In Study 4 (N=803, 257groups) experiencing collective autonomy restriction (versus support) increased low-power group members’ support of collective action, decreased system justification, and evoked hostile emotions,both when groups wereand were notmateriallyexploited (by being tasked with more than their fair share of work). Across studies, we differentiate collective autonomy restriction from structural group power, other formsofinjustice, group agency, and group identification.These findings indicate that collective autonomy restriction uniquely motivates collective behavior.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Frank Kachanoff, Nour Kteily, Hyun Joon Park, Donald Taylor

Date Published

2019

Citations

Kachanoff, Frank, Nour Kteily, Hyun Joon Park, and Donald Taylor. 2019. Determining our Destiny: Do Restrictions to Collective Autonomy Fuel Collective Action?. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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