The Role of Stigma in Understanding Ethnicity Differences in Authoritarianism

Pj Henry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Ethnic minorities often have shown higher mean levels of authoritarianism compared to Whites. However, no theoretical mechanism has been directly tested to explain these ethnicity differences. Using the stigma literature as a framework, two studies are presented that test a novel explanation for this difference, rooted in the devaluing that accompanies being a member of a stigmatized group in society. The results show that, in Study 1, ethnic minorities reported higher levels of authoritarianism in ways that could not be explained by traditional explanations of authoritarianism, including lower income, lower education, or lack of cognitive complexity. However, in Study 2, when participants were given the opportunity to affirm their sense of worth, ethnic minorities did not differ in their mean levels of authoritarianism compared to Whites. These findings are discussed in the context of understanding ethnic minority endorsement of authoritarianism in terms of self-regulatory processes that may be related to their stigmatized condition in society.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)419-438
    Number of pages20
    JournalPolitical Psychology
    Volume32
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

    Fingerprint

    Authoritarianism
    authoritarianism
    ethnicity
    national minority
    low income
    Ethnic Groups
    Stigma
    Education
    Ethnic Minorities
    lack
    education
    Group

    Keywords

    • Authoritarianism
    • Ethnicity
    • Prejudice
    • Stigma compensation theory

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science and International Relations

    Cite this

    The Role of Stigma in Understanding Ethnicity Differences in Authoritarianism. / Henry, Pj.

    In: Political Psychology, Vol. 32, No. 3, 01.06.2011, p. 419-438.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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