Facing Structural Disadvantage: The Role of Ingroup Connectedness


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Facing Structural Disadvantage: The Role of Ingroup Connectedness
Bakouri M.
Staerklé C.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques
Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques (SSP) Université de Lausanne CH-1015 Lausanne SUISSE
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This thesis focuses on the social-psychological factors that help coping with structural disadvantage, and specifically on the role of cohesive ingroups and the sense of connectedness and efficacy they entail in this process. It aims to complement existing group-based models of coping that are grounded in a categorization perspective to groups and consequently focus exclusively on the large-scale categories made salient in intergroup contexts of comparisons.
The dissertation accomplishes this aim through a reconsideration of between-persons relational interdependence as a sufficient and independent antecedent of a sense of groupness, and the benefits that a sense of group connectedness in one's direct environment, regardless of the categorical or relational basis of groupness, might have in the everyday struggles of disadvantaged group members. The three empirical papers aim to validate this approach, outlined in the first theoretical introduction, by testing derived hypotheses. They are based on data collected with youth populations (15-30) from three institutions in French-speaking Switzerland within the context of a larger project on youth transitions. Methods of data collection are paper-pencil questionnaires and in-depth interviews with a selected sub-sample of participants.
The key argument of the first paper is that members of socially disadvantaged categories face higher barriers to their life project and that a general sense of connectedness, either based on categorical identities or other proximal groups and relations, mitigates the feeling of powerlessness associated with this experience. The second paper develops and tests a model that defines individual needs satisfaction as antecedent of self-group bonds and the efficacy beliefs derived from these intragroup bonds as the mechanism underlining the role of ingroups in coping. The third paper highlights the complexities that might be associated with the construction of a sense of groupness directly from intergroup comparisons and categorization-based disadvantage, and points out a more subtle understanding of the processes underling the emergence of groupness out of the situation of structural disadvantage.
Overall, the findings confirm the central role of ingroups in coping with structural disadvantage and the importance of an understanding of groupness and its role that goes beyond the dominant focus on intergroup contexts and categorization processes.
Structural Disadvantage- Disadvantaged Groups- Ingroup connectedness- Groupness- Bonding Identities
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18/09/2015 17:00
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20/08/2019 13:54
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