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Abstract

From Moscovici (Social influence and social change. London, Academic Press; 1976) on, a growing body of research on minority influence has been conducted within the social psychology mainstream. A general guideline of most of the research on this topic associates minority influence with social change and innovation. Minorities have been considered as challengers to social stability, and their dynamics have been considered in relation to the mechanisms through which social changes occur and established norms are modified and evolve in human society. In the present paper, we try to extend this viewpoint by suggesting that it represents only one side of a much more complex story. We consider the conditions under which minorities produce social change as well as the conditions under which they are, instead, inclined to defend the status quo. We then suggest that an integrative account of different approaches – namely, social identity, social dominance, and system justification – might contribute to expanding the theoretical frame of minority influence.