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Social Inequality

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Be Ka

on 28 September 2012

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Transcript of Social Inequality

Social Identity:
Basically no explanation for individual differences

System Justification:
Conservatism as individual difference variable (problematic)

Social Dominance:
Tension between group-based predictions and individual-based predictions Current debates in intergroup relations social inequality Jonas Rebecca Inequality and social and health problems WILKINSON & PICKETT Between societies Life expectancy is unrelated to differences in average income between rich countries Within societies Death rates are closely related to differences in income within societies Inequality
and child well-being Child well-being in rich countries is closely related to income inequality Psychological Foundations of Social Inequality Inequality and children drop out of high school More children drop out of high school
in more unequal US states Inequality
and social mobility Social mobility is lower in more unequal countries “If Americans want to live the American dream,
they should go to Denmark.”
(Richard Wilkinson) Inequality
and mental illnesses Mental illnesses are three times more common
in more unequal societies Inequality
and homicides Homicides more common in more unequal US states
than in more equal Canadian provinces Inequality
and imprisonments Imprisonment is more common
in more unequal societies Inequality and the index of social and health problems Are those problems more common in countries with more income inequality?

Child well-being
Social mobility
Imprisonment rates
Mental illness
Life expectancy
Teenage births
Level of trust
… http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/ Can't get enough? ROTHSTEIN & USLANDER Dynamics between inequality, corruption and trust Review Child well-being

High school drop outs

Social mobility

Mental illness


Imprisonment Drug abuse

Infant mortality

Life expectancy


Math & literacy scores

Teenage biths trust Trust varies widely across nations:

In Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands
about 60 percent of people believe most other people can be trusted.

In Brazil, the Philippines, and Turkey about 10 percent trust others. Economic equality: how equally distributed are resources within a society? Equality of opportunity: how are the chances for an individual for economic progress in the future? Summary of the main theories Social Identity Theory

System Justification Theory

Social Dominance Theory Evaluation at three levels Individual level

Group level

Societal level Social Identity Theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1986) Identity = Personal identity + social identity

Motivation to have a positive social identity
leads to ingroup love & outgroup derogation

Group salience results in a more pronounced social identity

Positive distinctiveness as possible reason for social inequality The Minimal Group Paradigm Assigning individuals to arbitrary groups leads to immediate ingroup preference

Even children show these effects (Dunham et al., 2011) Universal policies effect trust, because they:

- create more economic equality
- increase the sense of equality of opportunity
- enhance social solidarity and the perception of a shared fate Dynamics between inequality, corruption and trust:

The roots of generalized trust lie in a fairer distribution of resources (economic equality) and equality opportunities in a society

Honest government enacts universal social welfare: policies for all social classes (regarding universal child allowances, universal health care, …)

Those policies lead to more trust

High level of trust translates into union and cooperation with government, which leads to more support for programs that benefit all

An honest government leads to more universal social welfare programs, which lead to greater equality and greater generalized trust

Countries with histories of greater equality - such as the Nordic nations - also had histories of more honest governments Selective policies are a hindrance for trust, because:

- people who receive selective welfare benefits often feel degraded and apart from others in society
- the rich will not agree to pay high taxes because they perceive that they do not get enough in return The stickyness problem Trust, inequality, and corruption are all sticky:
none of them changes much over time There is hope Policies that included high levels of spending on:

land reform
increased agricultural productivity
expanded availability of health care
more open markets Group assignment An organization asked you to assist with designing a campaign.

This campaign is intended to convince people to engage more in supporting equality.

On the basis of your knowledge about the antecedents of group-based guilt create some realistic approaches.

You can choose a target group for your campaign (do this in the first 5 minutes!)

Choose the medium for your approach (e.g., commercials, trainings, etc.)

Concentrate on some of the following aspects (be prepared to elaborate on your choice):

- perspective taking
- ingroup glorification
- self-affirmation
- responsibility
- justifiability
-perception of inequality Practical implications System Justification Theory People have three justification motive:
Ego justification
Group justification
System justification

System is seen as good and inevitable

Predicts that even minorities who suffer under an unequal system support this system

Can explain why social inequality remains (Jost & Banaji, 1994) Stereotypes as Justification for the System (Jost & Kay, 2004) Half of the participants were exposed to communal stereotypes (e.g., warm, honest)

Participants rated how just gender inequality is Social Dominance Theory (Sidanius, 1993) Social dominance theory is routed in evolutionary theorizing

Social inequality as a strategy against group conflict

Individuals differ in their social dominance orientation Evaluation: Individual Level Evaluation: Group Level Social Identity:
Very strong in explaining group differences

System Justification & Social Dominance:
See group relations as too static (Huddy, 2004) (Huddy, 2004) Evaluation: Societal Level System Justification:
Greater support for higher status groups is expected in unequal societies
Empirical evidence points in the other direction

Social Identity:
No clear predictions

Social Dominance:
Is more interested in the similarities between societies than in the differences Group-Based Guilt Group-Based Guilt Guilt is often seen as negative emotion

But guilt creates the motivation to repair

Group-based guilt can motivate majorities to support minorities

Unfortunately, reports of group-based guilt are often low (Doosje et al., 2004) (Swim & Miller, 1999) Antecedents of Group-Based Guilt Inequality and responsibility heighten group-based guilt

Justifiability lowers group-based guilt (especially when responsibility is high) Inequality, responsibility, and justifiability Perspective taking Modes of National Identity Attachment to the ingroup heightens group-based guilt

Glorification of the ingroup decreases group-based guilt Self-Affirmation Self-affirmation increases group-based guilt

Group-affirmation has no influence on group-based guilt (Huddy, 2004) (Mallett & Swim, 2007) (Zebel et al., 2009) (Roccas et al., 2006) (Čehajić-Clancy et al., 2011) Increases group-based guilt for low ingroup identifiers

Decreases group-based guilt for high ingroup identifiers (Self-Categorization Theory; Turner et al., 1987) Take-home-message so far Inequality is linked to many social and health problems
Inequality and corruption stand at the beginning of a chain that leads to mistrust in a society
There are ways to improve the status quo Conclusion Social Identity:
Fares well at the group level
Is rather mute at the other levels

Social Dominance:
Got some support at the individual level and the societal level

System Justification:
Generally quite problematic (Huddy, 2004) Outline Inequality and social and health problems

Dynamics between inequality, corruption and trust

Psychological foundations of social inequality

Group-based guilt

Group assignment (Frijda et al., 1989) Have a break... "...trust reflects a sense of social solidarity,
that [people] believe that the various groups in society have a shared fate,
and that there is a responsibility to provide possibilities for those with fewer resources." http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html Why? Social inequality - a broad construct
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