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On the Psychological Function of Nationalistic “Whitelash”

Sengupta, Nikhil Kumar, Osborne, Danny, Sibley, Chris G. (2018) On the Psychological Function of Nationalistic “Whitelash”. Political Psychology, 40 (4). pp. 759-775. ISSN 0162-895X. (doi:10.1111/pops.12563) (KAR id:73799)

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A noticeable feature of the political discourse accompanying the rise of Nationalism in White-majority countries is that White people fare worse than other ethnic groups in their societies. However, it is unclear based on the extant literature why group-based relative deprivation (GRD) would correlate with majority-group Nationalism. Here, we propose that the psychological function of Nationalism for majority-group members lies in its ability to assuage the negative feelings arising from GRD. Accordingly, in a New Zealand national probability sample (N= 15,607), we found that GRD among Whites was negatively associated with wellbeing. However, we also found an opposing indirect association mediated by Nationalism. GRD was associated with higher Nationalism, which was in turn associated with higher wellbeing. These findings suggest that endorsing beliefs about national superiority is one way a nation’s dominant ethnic group can cope with the negative psychological consequences of perceiving that their group is deprived.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/pops.12563
Uncontrolled keywords: white nationalism, relative deprivation, wellbeing
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Nikhil Sengupta
Date Deposited: 08 May 2019 14:33 UTC
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2020 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Sengupta, Nikhil Kumar:
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