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Angry opposition to government redress: When the structurally advantaged perceive themselves as relatively deprived

Authors


Correspondence should be addressed to Colin Wayne Leach, Department of Psychology, Pevensey 1, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK (e-mail: c.w.leach@sussex.ac.uk).

Abstract

We examined (structurally advantaged) non-Aborigines' willingness for political action against government redress to (structurally disadvantaged) Aborigines in Australia. We found non-Aborigines opposed to government redress to be high in symbolic racism and to perceive their ingroup as deprived relative to Aborigines. However, only perceived relative deprivation was associated with feelings of group-based anger. In addition, consistent with relative deprivation and emotion theory, it was group-based anger that fully mediated a willingness for political action against government redress. Thus, the specific group-based emotion of anger explained why symbolic racism and relative deprivation promoted a willingness for political action against government redress to a structurally disadvantaged out-group. Theoretical and political implications are discussed.

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