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Title: The roles of national and religious identities in mobilizing help for the outgroup
Author: Palansinski, Marek
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 7759
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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In my research I explore the complex roles of place and religious identities in mobilizing help to general and double outgroups. Chapter 1 reviews the literature on altruism in general, and on the social identity approach to helping in particular. Chapter 2 uses the concept of place identity to explore outgroup helping. Study 1 (N=104) examines how the boundaries of social identity might extend the boundaries of social inclusiveness, leading to outgroup helping. Its results show that a prime of Europeanness, rather than national identity, increased participants' readiness to help African victims, regardless of their implied religiousness, which is considered in terms of self-categorization theory. Study 2 (N=67) explores how the possible contents ("Meanness" and "pessimism") of such place identities might facilitate and hinder helping to the outgroup in general. Contrary to predictions, it was the stereotype of pessimism (not meanness) that enhanced it, which is considered in terms of stereotype threat. Study 3 (n=79) further examines the complex role of interlinked religious and place identities under threat in affecting generosity-to double outgroup victims. Showing that such generosity appears to be greatest when a relevant threat to the ingroup is high, it actually seems to lend more support to the explanation of meta-stereotyping than stereotype threat. Chapter 3 explores outgroup helping using the religious identities of Catholic and Christian. Against predictions, in Study 4 (n=97) the prime of Catholic religious identity increased the likelihood of help when outgroup members could be inferred as Muslim. These results are explained in terms of the rneta-stereotyping literature. Fleshing out that explanation, Study 5 examines outgroup helping as a form of strategic expression of ingroup identity. This time a meta-stereotypic prime of participants (n=73) as "mean", but not "pessimistic", allegedly held by national outgroup, led to greater chances of helping the outgroup in general. To complement this study, in which such negative metastereotypes were now advised to be held by a religious outgroup, Study 6 (n=70) examines different metastereotypes that are directly relevant to the primed religious identities. It shows that a meta-stereotypic prime of participants as "intolerant" results in greater chances of helping the outgroup, but only in term of money and time, not organized religious support, like it was under a condition of "idolatry". Chapter 4 describes a study based on 30 one-to-one semi-structured interviews with Polish Catholics at a Catholic community centre. The qualitative analysis of these interviews (in which the vignettes used in the experimantal studies were used as primes for conversational topics) is used to shed some extra light on the experimental findings and substantiate their possible explanations. Conducting a dialogue with the existing literature on outgroup helping all across my thesis, I aim to extend some of it by discussing the theoretical meanings and implications of my findings and outlining some possible directions for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available