'Our way of life is worth defending': Testing a model of attitudes towards superordinate group membership through a study of Scots' attitudes towards Britain

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Abstract

This research used a survey design (N = 227) to investigate Scottish people's support or opposition to independence from Britain. It was hypothesised that political attitudes towards supra-national bodies are not a direct function of the degree of ingroup (Scottish) identification, but are moderated by the extent to which the expression of ingroup identity is seen as being undermined within the larger entity. This feeling of identity undermining is assumed to arise from perceptions of incompatibility with the outgroup and ingroup powerlessness within the common group. The results provided support for these hypotheses. Only for those participants who had high feelings of identity undermining did identification lead to stronger separatist attitudes. Moreover, incompatibility with the outgroup and ingroup powerlessness predicted feelings of identity undermining while this latter mediated their impact on attitudes to being part of Britain. These findings underline the importance of taking into account (a) the contents ascribed to identities and their relations, and (b) the practical ability to pursue a way of live based on these contents in order to understand the way identity processes shape attitudes towards superordinate groups. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-129
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

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