Minority goals for interaction with the majority: Seeking distance from the majority and the effect of rejection on identification


Correspondence to: Miguel Ribeiro Ramos, Departamento de Psicologia Social e das Organizações, ISCTE, Av. das Forças Armadas, 1649-026 Lisbon, Portugal.

E-mail: mrrst@iscte.pt

Jolanda Jetten, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia.

E-mail: j.jetten@psy.uq.edu.au


Four studies investigated the conditions under which minority group members respond to group-based discrimination with increased identification with their group. We propose that minorities' interaction goals should serve as a moderator: seeking distance from the majority might keep minority identification alive in the face of perceived discrimination. These predictions were tested correlationally in Study 1 among Chinese immigrants in Australia (sample 1a) and children of rural migrant workers in a Chinese city (sample 1b). In Studies 2 and 3, perceived discrimination was manipulated among Romanian immigrants in France and Polish immigrants in Scotland. In Study 4, both minority goals and perceived discrimination were manipulated among a sample of international students in Australia. Results showed that only for those who were inclined to seek distance from the majority, minority group identification increased when discrimination was high compared with low. Discussion focuses on the way that seeking distance might be an important strategy for coping with discrimination. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.