Help that helps: Exploring strategic motivations in intergroup helping transactions

Juliet Ruth Helen Wakefield, Nick Hopkins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

18 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter considers how our understanding of intergroup helping transactions can be enhanced through attending to issues of strategy. First, we examine how ingroup members may help outgroup members as a way to manage and enhance the outgroup’s image of the ingroup. Second, we consider how similar image-related concerns may impact on the decision to seek or refuse help from outgroup members. Third, we consider the strategic construction of social identities and how these might promote helping and help-seeking. In doing so, we not only consider how social identity processes impact upon the proffering and acceptance of help, but we also explore how the discursive characterisation of ‘helping’ may feature in the strategic construction of group relations and social identities. Taken together, these strands highlight two different strategic dimensions to intergroup helping and help-seeking. The first concerns the use of intergroup helping transactions as a means to manage group reputation, while the second concerns the use of such transactions as a way to define group identity. We conclude by considering the implications of these observations for how acts of helping and help-seeking are conceptualised and understood, and how such understandings could be used to promote both behaviours in real-world contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntergroup Helping
EditorsEsther van Leeuwen, Hanna Zagefka
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783319530260
ISBN (Print)9783319530246
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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