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Master of Science (M.S.)
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The participation of advantaged group members in collective action with the disadvantaged group to challenge inequality is crucial to building a social movement. Although prior work has found that an invitation to participate in collective action is a strong predictor of participation, the extent to which advantaged group members are influenced by such invitations is not known. The present research investigates the effect of the race of an inviter (White vs. Black) on Whites’ willingness to participate in collective action for racial justice as a function of their underlying prejudicial attitudes. Study 1 found that greater internal motivation to respond without prejudice (IMS) was associated with greater willingness to participate in collective action for racial justice. Study 2 found a marginal interaction between race and IMS in predicting collective action, such that for Whites high on IMS, a Black (vs. White) inviter evoked greater willingness to participate in collective action; however, this effect was not replicated in Study 3. Instead, Study 3 found that IMS and the Black (vs. White) inviter independently predicted greater willingness for collective action. Study 3 also found initial evidence of conferred psychological standing to explain how inviter’s race shapes collective action. Specifically, a Black (vs. White) inviter was perceived to have greater psychological standing on issues of racial justice, which increased Whites’ personal standing, and subsequently, Whites’ willingness to participate in collective action for racial justice.
Selvanathan, Hemapreya, "Mobilizing the Advantaged to Protest Injustice with the Disadvantaged" (2017). Masters Theses. 534.