Intergroup Emotions and Intergroup Relations



Intergroup emotions theory seeks to understand and improve intergroup relations by focusing on the emotions engendered by belonging to, and by deriving identity from, a social group (processes called self-categorization and identification). Intergroup emotions are shaped by the very different ways in which members of different groups see group-relevant objects and events. These emotions come, with time and repetition, to be part and parcel of group membership itself. Once evoked, specific intergroup emotions direct and regulate specific intergroup behaviors. This approach has implications for theories of emotion as well as of intergroup relations. Because intergroup emotions derive from self-categorization and identification and because they strongly influence intergroup behavior, intergroup emotions theory provides an innovative framework for attempts to reduce prejudice and improve intergroup relations.