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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2010 Feb;36(2):225-38. doi: 10.1177/0146167209348617. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

Wolves in sheep's clothing: SDO asymmetrically predicts perceived ethnic victimization among white and Latino students across three years.

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Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Dominant groups have claimed to be the targets of discrimination on several historical occasions during violent intergroup conflict and genocide.The authors argue that perceptions of ethnic victimization among members of dominant groups express social dominance motives and thus may be recruited for the enforcement of group hierarchy. They examine the antecedents of perceived ethnic victimization among dominants, following 561 college students over 3 years from freshman year to graduation year. Using longitudinal, cross-lagged structural equation modeling, the authors show that social dominance orientation (SDO) positively predicts perceived ethnic victimization among Whites but not among Latinos, whereas victimization does not predict SDO over time. In contrast, ethnic identity and victimization reciprocally predicted each other longitudinally with equal strength among White and Latino students. SDO is not merely a reflection of contextualized social identity concerns but a psychological, relational motivation that undergirds intergroup attitudes across extended periods of time and interacts with the context of group dominance.

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