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Acting on Ideology: Identification and Protest in OpinionBased Groups


A qualitatively different kind of identification, underlying 'group members' ... will 'get lost amid all the smashed windows and tear gas' (Beckett, 2002, p. 22) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Acting on Ideology: Identification and Protest in OpinionBased Groups

Acting on Ideology Identification and Protest in
Opinion-Based Groups
  • Jim Cameron
  • Saint Marys University
  • Halifax, Canada

Politicized Collective Identity
  • A qualitatively different kind of identification,
    underlying group members explicit motivations
    to engage in…a power struggle (Simon
    Klandermans, 2001, p. 323)
  • The societal context of social movements

Two General Questions
  • How does opinion articulate with identity in
    the context of social movement participation?
  • To what extent are normative and non-normative
    collective action tendencies distinct in form and

The Value of Opinion
  • In mass movements (peoples movements), it is
    clear that most of the participants could not be
    described as activists (Bluic et al., 2007, p.
  • opinion-based groups…form an intermediate stage
    between broad social categories and…activist
    groups (p. 21)

The Value of Opinion
  • Opinion-based groups (Bluic, McGarty, Reynolds,
    Muntele, 2007 McGarty, 2006) are a way to
    represent the politicized content of collective
    identity (We stand for this)
  • Opinion can voice grievance
  • Opinion can transcend particular social category
  • Opinion(s) can provide the ideological basis of
    broad social movements (e.g., peoples movements)
  • Opinion can influence third parties, even in a
    global context
  • Opinion is a bridge to politicization, a way to
    find and form solidarity

The Anti-Globalization Movement
  • Anti-globalization referred to variously in
    terms of anti-capitalism, anti-corporate
    movement, or global justice movement
  • Heterogeneous in terms of opinions and social
    category memberships anarchists,
    anti-capitalists, anti-genetic engineering,
    anti-logging, anti-nuclear, anti-sweatshop,
    anti-war…environmental, feminist…indigenous
    rights…labor sectors (Brooks, 2004, p. 562)
  • Heterogeneous in terms of prescriptions for
    action concern that the broad appeal of the
    movement will get lost amid all the smashed
    windows and tear gas (Beckett, 2002, p. 22)

The Anti-Globalization Movement
  • The anti-globalization movement is based on the
    perception that aspects of intergroup
    arrangementsor patterns of domination (Piven,
    2008, p. 3)are illegitimate
  • Ideological basis characterized by an insistence
    of levelling hierarchies (Barlow Clarke,
    2001, p. 29)
  • (Anti-)social dominance orientation (Sidanius
    Pratto, 1999) captures this broad opinion in part

A General Model
Dimensions of Protest
Predicting Types of Protest Inclinations
  • Dimensions of protest individual versus
    collective, active versus passive, normative
    versus non-normative (e.g., Wright, 2001)
  • Some suggestion that non-normative action arises
    in response to high degrees of perceived
    illegitimacy, injustice, or discrimination

Predicting Types of Protest Inclinations
  • The role of age and sex
  • Younger people appeared to act more strongly on
    injustice than did older people (Van Zomeren,
    Postmes, Spears, 2008)
  • A general tendency for younger peopleparticularly
    young mento engage in risky, aggressive

The Summit of the Americas, Québec City, April
Cameron, J.E., Nickerson, S.L. (2009).
Predictors of protest among anti-globalization
demonstrators. Journal of Applied Social
Psychology, 39, 734-761.
Participants and Procedure
  • Respondents were 145 demonstrators (including 81
    males, 60 females), ranging in age from 16 to 70
    years (mode 21)
  • A brief questionnaire contained measures of
    social dominance orientation (Pratto et al.,
    1994), social identification (e.g., I feel
    strong ties to other members of the
    anti-globalization movement Cameron, 2004), and
    inclination toward protest (18 behaviours adapted
    from Lalonde Cameron, 1994)

Dimensions of Collective Action
  • Anti-globalization protest (e.g., become an
    activist, boycott products)
  • Indirect protest (e.g., write letters of
    protest, donate money to worthy causes)
  • Non-normative protest (e.g., engage in acts of
    violence, break the law)
  • Passive protest (e.g., sign a petition)

(No Transcript)
Predictors of Anti-globalization Protest
  • Women were more likely than men to say theyd
    engage in these protest behaviours
  • SDO and social identification strong predictors
  • Social identification a significant mediator of
  • R2 .37

Predictors of Anti-globalization Protest
Predictors of Indirect Protest
  • Older people were more inclined toward indirect
    protest than younger ones
  • SDO and social identification were significant
    predictors, and the correlations were consistent
    with a complete mediation of SDO by social
  • R2 .17

Predictors of Indirect Protest
Predictors of Non-normative Protest
  • Males more inclined toward non-normative protest
    than women
  • Younger demonstrators also tended to score higher
    than younger ones
  • Neither SDO nor social identification were
    significant predictors
  • R2 .11

Predictors of Non-normative Protest
Why is Non-Normative Protest Different?
  • Viewed by only some movement members as an
    appropriate strategy
  • Dynamics of unfolding events within the protest,
    sharpening of intergroup conflict between
    protesters and police a decoupling of intention
    and consequence (Drury Reicher, 2000, p. 595)
  • Reflects sex and age to a greater extent

Differential Effects of Different Facets of
  • Centrality or importance of the group to the self
  • Group-related affect, esteem, or satisfaction
  • In-group ties, commitment, or solidarity

Differential Effects of Different Facets of
  • In the present data,
  • In-group affect ? anti-globalization protest
  • Centrality ? indirect protest
  • More recently, Giguére and Lalonde (in press,
    Political Psychology) found that,
  • Only in-group affect had a direct influence on
    collective action in a student strike

A Joint Effect of Ideology and Identity
Concluding Thoughts
  • The reciprocal relationship between
    opinion/ideology and social movement
  • Importance of attending to opinion in the
    context of global civil society networks, and
    universalistic groups (Gamson, 1990)