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Keywords:

  • identity;
  • construction;
  • contestation;
  • practice;
  • power;
  • dialogue

Abstract

Identities are constructed and contested. This means they may be re-worked to support more inclusive visions of who belongs and on what basis. However, identity construction does not take place in a vacuum, and social psychological analyses of change need to address the contextual dynamics that shape the processes and outcomes of dialogue. This requires attention to processes of power. Furthermore, we need to consider minority group members' understandings of these processes. From the perspective of the disadvantaged, dialogue may be experienced as disempowering because it is viewed as compromising group members' capacities to organize themselves to pursue strategies of social change. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.