Social Identity, Relative Deprivation, and Coping With the Threat of Position Loss: A Field Study Among Native Shopkeepers in Amsterdam1


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    Some of these data were presented in December 1995 at the annual symposium of the Dutch Association of Social Psychological Researchers in Amsterdam. The authors would like to thank Faye Crosby for her insightful comments on a previous version of this article.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Naomi Ellemers, Department of Social Psychology, Free University, Van der Boechorststraat 1, NL-1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. e-mail:


The present study investigates how native shopkeepers in Amsterdam respond to the threat experienced by the emergence of immigrant stores. A survey among 101 native shopkeepers confirmed that psychological, rather than instrumental, considerations play an important role. First, perceptions of fraternal deprivation were relatively independent of the amount of egoistical deprivation people perceived. Instead, the experience of fraternal deprivation was related to people's identification as native shopkeepers. Second, egoistical deprivation resulted in negative perceptions of all other entrepreneurs, regardless of their ethnic origin. Third, regardless of perceived egoistical deprivation, native shopkeepers were more likely to discredit immigrant entrepreneurs, as they thought they were more fraternally deprived.