The Perception of Threat, Social Norms and Discrimination against Immigrants: the Consequences of Justified Discrimination

The Perception of Threat, Social Norms and Discrimination against Immigrants: the Consequences of Justified Discrimination

The aim of this project is to research the effect of justificatory factors for discrimination on the self-esteem of performers of discriminatory acts. Specifically, we will try to provide answers for the following questions: what is the relation between justifications for discrimination and the psychological self-esteem of the performer of discriminatory behaviour? What is the role of anti-prejudice social norms in this process? Our hypotheses are: on becoming aware that they have acted in a discriminatory manner, participants that do not have some justification for the discrimination will have more negative self-esteem than those participants who have recourse to some non-prejudiced form of justification for the discrimination; these effects will be modified by the prevalence of contextual norms, i.e., they will occur only when anti-prejudice norms are prevalent.

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
No
Keywords: 

Prejudice, Discriminate, Social Standards, Legitimation

The aim of this project is to research the effect of justificatory factors for discrimination on the self-esteem of performers of discriminatory acts. Specifically, we will try to provide answers for the following questions: what is the relation between justifications for discrimination and the psychological self-esteem of the performer of discriminatory behaviour? What is the role of anti-prejudice social norms in this process? Our hypotheses are: on becoming aware that they have acted in a discriminatory manner, participants that do not have some justification for the discrimination will have more negative self-esteem than those participants who have recourse to some non-prejudiced form of justification for the discrimination; these effects will be modified by the prevalence of contextual norms, i.e., they will occur only when anti-prejudice norms are prevalent.

Objectivos: 
Our aim is to analyse the impact of justifications for discrimination on the self-esteem of performers of discriminatory acts. We will test our hypotheses in a number of experimental and correlational studies. Firstly, we will analyse the hypothesis that people who can justify discrimination on the basis of an unprejudiced argument have a higher level of self-esteem than people who have no recourse to such an argument.  In a second study, we will test the hypothesis that the effect of justifications on self-esteem occurs in contexts in which anti-prejudice norms are prevalent. The justifications for discrimination will be based on the perception of threat. The anti-prejudice norm will be based on values of equality, while the norm that facilitates prejudice will be based on values of meritocracy. The target group for discrimination will be black African immigrants.
State of the art: 
A an&aacute;lise das justifica&ccedil;&otilde;es da discrimina&ccedil;&atilde;o &eacute; necess&aacute;ria porque &quot;the institutional world requires legitimation, that is, ways by which can be &lsquo;explained' and justified&quot; (Berger &amp; Luckmann, 1967, p. 61). De forma similar, Jost (2001, p. 90) prop&ocirc;s: &quot;we need reasons and arguments to justify both action and inaction. If we behave in an inconsistent or counterattitudinal way, we must come up with rationalizations for the departure&quot;. A import&acirc;ncia da legitima&ccedil;&atilde;o tem sido destacada no pensamento filos&oacute;fico h&aacute; mais de 20 s&eacute;culos e a sua an&aacute;lise foi sempre um aspecto central na sociologia, na filosofia e nas ci&ecirc;ncias pol&iacute;ticas (ver Zelditch, 2001), mas s&oacute; recentemente come&ccedil;ou a ocupar um lugar de destaque nas teorias desenvolvidas pela Psicologia Social (e.g., Tyler, 1989). <p>Realmente, ainda que Allport (1954/1979) tenha destacado a import&acirc;ncia de factores justificadores, fundamentalmente dos estere&oacute;tipos, para a compreens&atilde;o da natureza do preconceito, e Tajfel (1984) tenha proposto que o comportamento &quot;intergrupal&quot; depende, sobretudo, dos processos de justifica&ccedil;&atilde;o, o estudo desses processos n&atilde;o tinha sido objecto dessa disciplina at&eacute; meados dos anos 90 do s&eacute;culo passado (ver Jost &amp; Major, 2001). De facto, o estudo dos processos de justifica&ccedil;&atilde;o e legitima&ccedil;&atilde;o da discrimina&ccedil;&atilde;o come&ccedil;a a ser feita de forma mais sistem&aacute;tica a partir da publica&ccedil;&atilde;o dos primeiros estudos analisados &agrave; luz das teorias da domin&acirc;ncia social (Sidanius &amp; Pratto, 1999) e da justifica&ccedil;&atilde;o do sistema (Jost, 2001).</p><p>Recentemente, a an&aacute;lise da legitima&ccedil;&atilde;o tem sido feita no &acirc;mbito dos estudos sobre a rela&ccedil;&atilde;o entre o preconceito e a discrimina&ccedil;&atilde;o. Pereira, Vala e Leyens (2007) propuseram o modelo da discrimina&ccedil;&atilde;o justificada em que analisam, simultaneamente, o papel de factores justificadores e de factores normativos na din&acirc;mica da rela&ccedil;&atilde;o entre o preconceito e a discrimina&ccedil;&atilde;o. O modelo real&ccedil;a o recurso &agrave;s justifica&ccedil;&otilde;es como o mecanismo atrav&eacute;s do qual o preconceito leva &agrave; discrimina&ccedil;&atilde;o e especifica as condi&ccedil;&otilde;es normativas nas quais este processo ocorre. Especificamente, Pereira et al. (2005) mostraram que a rela&ccedil;&atilde;o entre o preconceito e a oposi&ccedil;&atilde;o &agrave; imigra&ccedil;&atilde;o na Europa &eacute; mediada pela percep&ccedil;&atilde;o de amea&ccedil;a realista e que a rela&ccedil;&atilde;o entre o preconceito e a oposi&ccedil;&atilde;o &agrave; naturaliza&ccedil;&atilde;o de imigrantes &eacute; mediada pela percep&ccedil;&atilde;o de amea&ccedil;a simb&oacute;lica. O princ&iacute;pio psicol&oacute;gico &eacute; o de que a percep&ccedil;&atilde;o de amea&ccedil;a &eacute; um factor justificador da express&atilde;o do preconceito (ver tamb&eacute;m Crandall &amp; Eshleman, 2003). </p>O papel da amea&ccedil;a na discrimina&ccedil;&atilde;o tem sido analisado quer na sua vertente realista (e.g., Sherif, Harvey, White, Hood, &amp; Sherif, 1961/1988) quer na sua vertente simb&oacute;lica (e.g., Sears &amp; Henry, 2003). Amea&ccedil;a realista &eacute; a percep&ccedil;&atilde;o de que os membros do exogrupo representam uma amea&ccedil;a &agrave; seguran&ccedil;a f&iacute;sica e econ&oacute;mica do endogrupo (Stephan &amp; Stephan, 2000). A amea&ccedil;a simb&oacute;lica &eacute; a percep&ccedil;&atilde;o de que os membros do exogrupo s&atilde;o uma amea&ccedil;a &agrave; cultura do endogrupo (Stephan &amp; Stephan, 2000). De acordo como o modelo da discrimina&ccedil;&atilde;o justificada, como a percep&ccedil;&atilde;o de amea&ccedil;a n&atilde;o evoca directamente a ideia de hierarquia racial, pode servir como justifica&ccedil;&atilde;o para a discrimina&ccedil;&atilde;o.
Parceria: 
Unintegrated
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/07/2008
End Date: 
01/06/2011
Duração: 
35 meses
Closed