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The Social Psychology of Intergroup Reconciliation$
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Arie Nadler, Thomas Malloy, and Jeffrey D. Fisher

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300314.001.0001

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Social Identity, Legitimacy, and Intergroup Conflict: The Rocky Road to Reconciliation

Social Identity, Legitimacy, and Intergroup Conflict: The Rocky Road to Reconciliation

(p.319) Chapter 14 Social Identity, Legitimacy, and Intergroup Conflict: The Rocky Road to Reconciliation
The Social Psychology of Intergroup Reconciliation

Russell Spears

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that legitimacy is a double-edged sword, providing a constraint not only on discrimination, but also on resistance that might lead injustice to be challenged. The chapter is structured as follows. First, it outlines accounts that see discrimination between groups as almost inevitable products of our group nature, and then challenge this view. This leads into a discussion of how legitimacy and the content of group identity (norms and stereotypes) form bases by which discrimination may be constrained. It considers evidence from four domains to provide empirical support for the legitimacy constraint argument: (1) social stereotyping, (2) in-group bias and discrimination, (3) emotion-based forms of prejudice (specifically intergroup schadenfreude), and (4) perceptions of group (in)justice. Finally, the chapter considers how reconciliation fits into this social identity analysis of intergroup conflict tempered by legitimacy constraints, and indeed how it can add to it.

Keywords:   intergroup relations, legitimacy, discrimination, group identity, social stereotyping, in-group bias, prejudice, reconciliation

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