Intergroup structure and identity management among ethnic minority and majority groups: the interactive effects of perceived stability, legitimacy, and permeability



This paper is an examination, in a natural setting, of the interactive effects of perceived stability, legitimacy, and group permeability on group identification, stereotypes, and group feelings among Turkish-Dutch and ethnically Dutch participants. The findings strongly support predictions derived from the social identity perspective. For the Turkish-Dutch, a legitimate interethnic structure meant rather unstable relations and permeable group boundaries. For the Dutch, the same structure implied stability and impermeability. For the Turkish-Dutch, a response pattern of individual mobility was found: if they viewed ethnic intergroup relations as legitimate and stable, permeability was negatively related to Turkish identification as well as to less stereotyping on the dimension defining Turkish identity. It was also related positively to Dutch identification and in-group bias in relation to other ethnic minority groups. For the Dutch participants, higher perceived legitimacy was associated with stronger in-group identification and more positive in-group evaluation. Additionally, in a legitimate context, stability was, for them, related to a lower stereotyping of the Turkish out-group on status-relevant dimensions and more negative feelings towards ethnic out-groups in general. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.