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The protest intentions of skilled immigrants with credentialing problems: A test of a model integrating relative deprivation theory with social identity theory


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Peter R. Grant, Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A5, Canada (e-mail:


Currently in Canada, there is a widespread underemployment among foreign-trained immigrants. This is because potential employers often have to evaluate unfamiliar foreign qualifications that, regrettably, are often misunderstood and undervalued. This questionnaire study tested a model that integrates relative deprivation theory with social identity theory to predict the degree to which skilled migrants from Asia and Africa with credentialing problems protest this systemic discriminatory barrier (N =180). In the model, the strength of cultural and national identifications are conceptualized as opposing motivational forces that, along with collective relative deprivation (CRD), directly impact protest intentions. As well, the model specifies that the so-called ‘affective’ component of CRD consists of an attribution of blame (perceived discrimination) and associated emotions. Structural equation modelling shows that the model is a good fit to the data. As hypothesized, significant path coefficients show that the strength of cultural identity increases and the strength of Canadian identity decreases the degree to which the respondents feel that immigrants suffer discrimination which, in-turn, influenced their intentions to take protest actions. The implications of these findings for the integration of relative deprivation and social identity theories are discussed.