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No future without “us”: Rapid social change can create dilemmas for highly identified minority group members

Gendering in Research: Talk by Thomas Morton, Copenhagen University

2019.03.21 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Thu 31 Oct
Time 11:00 13:00
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, 1483-312

Abstract

Within 50 years, sexual minorities in many western countries have shifted in status from illegal to entitled to equal rights and protections by the law, symbolised most powerfully by the progressive granting of marriage equality. Rapid social changes like this signal improvements to minority status, something that is celebrated within the communities that agitate for these changes. But such social changes can also portend the possible loss of a distinctive minority identity, something that might sit uncomfortably with individual minority group members. Across two experimental studies (Ns = 67 & 199), we explore whether, and among whom, these different sides of social change can be observed. Both studies revealed evidence that highly-identified sexual minorities feel most positive about, and anticipate most eagerly, social change that is framed in terms of changes to the outgroup. When social change is framed in terms of changes to the ingroup, high identifiers instead display ambivalence. This pattern was further conditioned by gender identity in the second study. These results illustrate how concerns around identity realisation versus identity loss can guide responses to social change, and further point to the role of multiple intersecting minority identities in contributing to the mixed feelings people might sometimes experience about even positive social changes. 

 

Bio

Thomas Morton is a quantitatively-trained social psychologist with interests that span theoretical and applied concerns. My current research centres around specific questions of: (a) how social identities are a lens through which people experience the world and act in it; (b) how people navigate membership in groups that are marginalised or devalued, and express themselves and their identity to others against this backdrop, and; (c) how social group memberships, and social relationships, impact on individual health and well-being. 

 

 

Contact

Thomas Morton, Associate Professor in Social Psychology, Copenhagen University     

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The Gendering in Research Network provides a platform for gender researchers and students at Aarhus University to discuss, collaborate, and exchange ideas. For further information about the Gendering in Research Network, please contact: Lea Skewes, IMC Theresa Ammann, IMC

The Gendering in Research Network provides a platform for gender researchers and students at Aarhus University to discuss, collaborate, and exchange ideas. For further information about the Gendering in Research Network, please contact:

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