A study of minorities as victims



This article presents the idea that during the 1990s an important change took place in relation between minorities and majorities: the emergence of minorities as victims alongside the formerly predominant active, militant minorities. A hypothesis is raised that these two types of minorities differ in their agenda as well as in the nature of the influence they exert. Active minorities trigger an external conflict with majority and induce conversion (latent rather than overt influence); minorities as victims create an internal conflict, a sense of guilt, within the majority, while they exert an exclusively overt influence. We report two experiments confirming our hypothesis. We discuss the novelty of this phenomenon and its relevance. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.