Exposure to Neoliberalism Increases Resentment of the Elite via Feelings of Anomie and Negative Psychological Reactions

Autor(en): Hartwich, Lea
Becker, Julia C.
Stichwörter: ATTITUDES; CONSEQUENCES; INEQUALITY; Psychology; Psychology, Social; Social Issues; THREAT
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Herausgeber: WILEY
Volumen: 75
Ausgabe: 1, SI
Startseite: 113
Seitenende: 133
For several decades now, neoliberalism has been the dominant economic and political ideology throughout large parts of the world. In many places, its rise has gone hand in hand with growing social inequality and a cultural emphasis on individualism and competition. Lately, concerns are being raised about the effects of these developments on politics and societies. The renewed rise of populism in Europe, the United States, and other countries has been attributed to economic insecurity among the working and middle classes by politicians, journalists, and academics alike. Similarly, the spread of nationalist and anti-immigration sentiments is frequently interpreted as a result of fears over job security and perceived competition in a hostile economic climate. We examined the effect of neoliberalism on two types of prejudice (anti-elitism and anti-immigrant prejudice) across two studies in Germany (N = 198) and the UK (N = 173). Results show that priming neoliberalism leads to higher levels of anti-elitism but not anti-immigrant prejudice and that this effect is mediated by anomie and negative psychological reactions (feelings of threat, unfairness, and hopelessness). Thus, our research suggests that while neoliberalism is linked to lower social cohesion and increased outgroup derogation, this is not primarily directed against disadvantaged social groups but against those at the top.
ISSN: 00224537
DOI: 10.1111/josi.12311

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