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Gateway groups

The potential of multiple identities to improve intergroup relations
PhD ceremony:Mr A.D.M. (Aharon) Levy
When:January 07, 2019
Supervisors:prof. dr. M. (Martijn) van Zomeren, prof. dr. E. Halperin
Co-supervisor:dr. T. Saguy
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
Gateway groups

This thesis addresses the potential role groups with multiple social identities (e.g., biracials) may play in positively transforming intergroup relations among their respective social counterparts (e.g., changing perceptions or behavioral intentions between Blacks and Whites). The aim of the thesis is to provide a conceptual framework that can capture a meaningful aspect of the modern complexity of social boundaries and identity, and then test this framework across different real-life intergroup contexts. The main questions we seek to answer are whether (1) groups with multiple social identities are indeed able to improve intergroup relations, and (2) if so, under what conditions. Specifically, we introduce the notion of Gateway Groups, defined as groups characterized by unique social categorizations that enable them to be categorized as, and identified with, more than one group within the context of intergroup relations. Throughout the thesis we examined this notion in three different social contexts: (1) The Israeli Palestinian context with Israeli Arabs as a potential Gateway Group. (2) The Western Balkans with Serbian Bosniaks as a Gateway Group. (3) The inter-racial relations in the U.S. with biracials as a Gateway Group. This research has both scientific and social relevance and value because the studies in this thesis are the first to focus on these intricate intergroup gateways and their potential social impact; furthermore, this approach can broaden existing conceptualization of multiple identities for a more comprehensive and complex understanding of intergroup dynamics.