Linking Parental Socialization About Discrimination to Intergroup Attitudes: The Role of Social Dominance Orientation and Cultural Identification

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Abstract

Objectives: This study investigated the interaction of parental socialization about discrimination and social dominance orientation (SDO) in predicting the cultural identity and intergroup attitudes of the Minnanese, an ethnic group in Taiwan that faced systematic discrimination during the early decades of Chinese Nationalist rule. Because high SDO individuals tend to support group-based dominance, we hypothesized that under high preparation for bias, which may reinforce narratives that place the historically disadvantaged Taiwanese in a subordinate position, Minnanese high in SDO would identify less with Taiwanese and more with Chinese (the historically high-status outgroup) compared with their low SDO counterparts. Method: We examined our hypotheses using a sample of Minnanese (N = 365; 183 women, 182 men; average age = 44.35) who participated in a nationally representative survey of Taiwanese adults. Results: As predicted, among Minnanese exposed to high levels of preparation for bias, those with high SDO expressed greater levels of Chinese identification and more favorable attitudes toward Chinese than their low SDO counterparts (no difference was found in attitudes toward Taiwanese). Among Minnanese exposed to low levels of preparation for bias, SDO predicted neither Chinese nor Taiwanese identity. Moreover, the interaction effect of preparation for bias and SDO on attitudes toward Chinese was mediated by Chinese identity. Conclusion: Using a unique, non-Western sample, this study demonstrated the role that parental socialization about past discrimination, in combination with belief in group-based dominance, plays in the construction of group identity and intergroup attitudes among members of historically disadvantaged ethnic groups.

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