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Am Psychol. 2001 Apr;56(4):319-31.

Politicized collective identity. A social psychological analysis.

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  • 1Institut für Psychologie, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Olshausenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany.


This article develops a social psychological model of politicized collective identity that revolves around 3 conceptual triads. The 1st triad consists of collective identity, the struggle between groups for power, and the wider societal context. It is proposed that people evince politicized collective identity to the extent that they engage as self-conscious group members in a power struggle on behalf of their group knowing that it is the more inclusive societal context in which this struggle has to be fought out. Next, 3 antecedent stages leading to politicized collective identity are distinguished: awareness of shared grievances, adversarial attributions, and involvement of society at large. This sequence culminates in the final triad because the intergroup power struggle is eventually triangulated by involving society at large or representatives thereof. Consequences of politicized collective identity are discussed.

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