The impact of adopting ethnic or civic conceptions of national belonging for others' treatment

Juliet R. H. Wakefield, Nick Hopkins, Clare Cockburn, Ka Man Shek, Alison Muirhead, Stephen Reicher, Wendy van Rijswijk

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    68 Citations (Scopus)


    National belonging is often defined in terms of "ethnic" ancestry and "civic" commitment (with the latter typically implying a more inclusive conception of belonging). The authors report three Scottish studies manipulating the prominence of these criteria. In Study 1 (N = 80), a Chinese-heritage target was judged more Scottish (and his criticisms of Scotland better received) when Scotland was defined in civic terms. In Study 2 (N = 40), a similar manipulation in a naturalistic setting showed a civic conception of belonging resulted in more help being given to a Chinese-heritage confederate. Study 3 (N = 71) replicated Study 2 and showed the effect was mediated by judgments of the confederate's Scottishness. These studies emphasize the importance of exploring how ingroup identity is defined.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1599-1610
    Number of pages12
    JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

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