Solidarity Through Shared Disadvantage: Highlighting Shared Experiences of Discrimination Improves Relations Between Stigmatized Groups

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Abstract

Intergroup relations research has largely focused on relations between members of dominant groups and members of disadvantaged groups. The small body of work examining intraminority intergroup relations, or relations between members of different disadvantaged groups, reveals that salient experiences of ingroup discrimination promote positive relations between groups that share a dimension of identity (e.g., 2 different racial minority groups) and negative relations between groups that do not share a dimension of identity (e.g., a racial minority group and a sexual minority group). In the present work, we propose that shared experiences of discrimination between groups that do not share an identity dimension can be used as a lever to facilitate positive intraminority intergroup relations. Five experiments examining relations among 4 different disadvantaged groups supported this hypothesis. Both blatant (Experiments 1 and 3) and subtle (Experiments 2, 3, and 4) connections to shared experiences of discrimination, or inducing a similarity-seeking mindset in the context of discrimination faced by one’s ingroup (Experiment 5), increased support for policies benefiting the outgroup (Experiments 1, 2, and 4) and reduced intergroup bias (Experiments 3, 4, and 5). Taken together, these experiments provide converging evidence that highlighting shared experiences of discrimination can improve intergroup outcomes between stigmatized groups across dimensions of social identity. Implications of these findings for intraminority intergroup relations are discussed.

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