Power matters: The role of power and morality needs in competitive victimhood among advantaged and disadvantaged groups

Rotem Kahalon, Nurit Shnabel, Samer Halabi, Ilanit SimanTov-Nachlieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Competitive victimhood denotes group members’ efforts to establish that their ingroup has suffered greater injustice than an adversarial outgroup. Previous research in contexts of structural inequality has stressed the role of the need to defend the ingroup's moral identity, rather than the need for power, in leading advantaged and disadvantaged group members to engage in competitive victimhood. Focusing on the structural inequality between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel (Study 1) and Israeli women and men (Study 2), we found that across all groups and contexts, power needs predicted competitive victimhood. Also, the need to protect the ingroup's moral reputation (i.e., defensive moral needs) positively predicted competitive victimhood, whereas among advantaged group members, the need to protect the ingroup's moral essence negatively predicted competitive victimhood. Finally, exploratory analyses revealed that competitive victimhood correlated, positively for advantaged and negatively for disadvantaged group members, with support for policies securing realistic and symbolic resources for the disadvantaged group. Theoretical and practical implications of these results, which are consistent with the logic of the needs-based model of reconciliation, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-472
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • competitive victimhood
  • majority–minority relations
  • morality
  • needs-based model
  • power
  • structural inequality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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