Examining prejudice reduction through solidarity and togetherness experiences among Gezi Park activists in Turkey

Yasemin Acar, Özden Melis Uluğ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Prejudice reduction research has focused on reducing negative regard as a means to improve relations between various groups (e.g., religious, ethnic, political). Though positive regard between groups may be created, these forms of contact and common identification do not alter policy orientations of advantaged groups toward disadvantaged ones. Rather than intergroup contact, it is suggested that a collective action model of prejudice reduction (Dixon, J., Levine, M., Reicher, S., & Durrheim, K. (2012). Beyond prejudice: Are negative evaluations the problem and is getting us to like one another more the solution? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35, 411-425) would create ties between disadvantaged groups to work toward beneficial policy change. We seek to show that the Gezi Park protests in Taksim, İstanbul functioned as an intergroup phenomenon, requiring the cooperation of a number of disadvantaged groups (e.g., feminists, Kurds) working together to improve the status of all present. In a series of interviews with 34 activists from the Gezi Park protests, participants were to reflect on their individual and group-based experiences during their time in the Gezi Park protests. Data indicate that although a few groups remained distant or disconnected during the protests, a common ground was achieved such that some participants were able to overcome past prejudices. Data also indicate that through group perceptions and individuals’ descriptions of events, groups who had previously not been able to cooperate were able to work and stick together at Gezi. Results also imply, in line with Dixon et al. (2012), that if disadvantaged groups work together, they might change the position of their groups and improve each group’s disadvantaged position via collective action.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Social and Political Psychology
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2016

Keywords

  • intergroup relations
  • prejudice reduction
  • collective action
  • solidarity
  • protest

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