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Keywords:

  • political participation;
  • personal political salience;
  • politicized collective identity;
  • feminist consciousness;
  • race consciousness

Personal political salience (PPS) is proposed as a personality characteristic that assesses individuals' linkage of political events with their personal identities. Its role in facilitating the development of politicized collective identity and action is examined. In four samples of midlife and activist women, we show that PPS was consistently related both to politicized gender identity and political participation. Further analyses show similar results for PPS, politicized racial identity, and political participation. Politicized gender identity mediated the relationship between PPS and women's rights activism, and politicized racial identity mediated the relationship between PPS and civil rights activism. PPS is demonstrated to independently predict political action and also to provide a personality link between group memberships, politicized collective identity, and political participation.