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Responding to historical injustices: does group membership trump liberal-conservative ideology?

Faculty Advisor




principled conservatism, racism, privity

Abstract (summary)

In the legal literature, privity refers to the link between a minority's current social, psychological, and economic problems and its previous mistreatment by the government. Scholars speculate that judgments of privity underlie support for redress for historical injustices. There is no gold standard for evaluating privity, however, and its assessment is susceptible to personal and situational influences. We conducted three studies to examine how liberal-conservative ideology interacts with group membership to predict judgments of privity and support for redress. This research is the first to examine the combined effects of liberal-conservative ideology and group membership among respondents who belong to previously victimized minorities. Across both actual and hypothetical injustices, increasing conservatism was inversely related to judgments of privity, except when respondents were members of the victimized group. Victimized group members claimed privity regardless of ideology. The effects on support for reparations paralleled those for privity with one exception involving African Americans (Study 2). We discuss the implications of the findings for understanding the nature of liberalism-conservatism.

Publication Information

Banfield, J., Ross, M., & Blatz, C. W. (2014). Responding to historical injustices: Does group membership trump liberal-conservative ideology? European Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 30-42. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1990


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