Can cross-group contact turn advantaged group members into allies? The role of inequality-delegitimizing contact and interpersonal connection
|Becker, Julia C.
Wright, Stephen C.
|allyship behavior; ATTITUDES; COLLECTIVE ACTION; DISCRIMINATION; IDEOLOGY; inequality-delegitimizing contact; intergroup contact; NEGATIVE INTERGROUP CONTACT; POLITICAL SOLIDARITY; POSITIVE CONTACT; PREJUDICE; Psychology; Psychology, Social; REDUCTION; social change; SOCIAL IDENTITY MODEL; solidarity-based action
|SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
|GROUP PROCESSES & INTERGROUP RELATIONS
Previous research shows that positive contact with members of disadvantaged groups can have positive, neutral, or negative effects on advantaged group members' support of actions for social change towards more equality. The present work provides an experimental test of this effect and introduces two moderators which highlight the fundamental role of (a) communication about perception of the illegitimacy of intergroup inequality and (b) interpersonal connection with the contact partner. In two experiments (N = 88 and N = 192), first-time cross-group contact was initiated between members of two universities that differ on social status. Results revealed that cross-group contact per se did not increase advantaged group members' solidarity-based action to reduce inequality. However, cross-group contact did increase advantaged group members' solidarity-based actions when the disadvantaged group partner engaged in inequality-delegitimizing contact by describing the intergroup inequality as illegitimate and when the advantaged group member reported a strong interpersonal connection with the disadvantaged contact partner.
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