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Social Banditry: How authorities' irresponsiveness fosters support for vicarious dissent

Heering, Maria Sophia (2021) Social Banditry: How authorities' irresponsiveness fosters support for vicarious dissent. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.91470) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:91470)

Language: English

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Individuals who cannot directly express their discontents against an unjust system may instead support groups that disrupt the system through deviant, transgressive or even criminal actions. These groups are defined as 'social bandits', and their actions may be construed as a form of vicarious protest. Very little research has examined what drives individuals' support for social bandits. This thesis focused on hackers, groups operating on the internet often illegally. Seven experiments examined the circumstances in which individuals were more likely to support hackers engaging in disruptive and criminal actions. Experiments 1-2 examined whether individuals were more likely to support hackers that attacked a corrupt (either ingroup or outgroup) authority. Results indicated that individuals legitimized hackers more strongly when they attacked an ingroup corrupt authority. Experiments 3-4 extended these findings focusing on the role of an institution' responsiveness. In two different contexts (online work platform and university), participants who dealt with an institution irresponsive to their grievances were more likely to experience anger and, subsequently, legitimize hackers' attacks. Experiments 5-6 explored the role of schadenfreude. These experiments showed how both government corruption (studies 5 and 6) and low government responsiveness (study 6) may trigger schadenfreude in response to hackers' attack, and stronger support for hackers. Experiment 7 consolidated previous findings and explored the role of identification with an aggrieved group. In this study, low responsiveness elicited anger and schadenfreude, which then predicted increased support for hackers. Results also revealed an interaction effect of identification with an aggrieved group participants belonged to, and emotions on the legitimization of hackers; individuals who identified more strongly with the aggrieved group expressed lower anger and schadenfreude and consequently lower support for hackers (Study 7). Theoretical implications for the emerging field of research on social bandits are discussed, in addition to future directions for research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Travaglino, Giovanni
Thesis advisor: Toros, Harmonie
Thesis advisor: Abrams, Dominic
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.91470
Uncontrolled keywords: social banditry framework, vicarious dissent, protest, anger, external efficacy, hackers, schadenfreude, group-based identity
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2021 10:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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