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The role of values and value-identity fit in motivating collective action

Fit in motivating collective action
PhD ceremony:Ms M. (Maja) Kutlaca
When:February 16, 2017
Supervisors:prof. dr. M. (Martijn) van Zomeren, prof. dr. T.T. (Tom) Postmes
Co-supervisor:dr. K. (Kai) Epstude
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
The role of values and value-identity fit in motivating collective

Values like freedom and equality may have become buzz-words used by politicians and activists as an argument for any cause. Nevertheless, they still continue to be an essential part of the social psychology of social change because values can both motivate and mobilize. This thesis proposes that the motivational potential of values often arises from their perceived violation by others. Furthermore, it investigates how the fit between violated values and group identities motivates collective action (Chapter 1).

Chapter 2 demonstrates that perceived value violations can provide meaning to vague group identities and fuel collective action in the contexts of incidental disadvantages which lack clear solutions and common goals.

Furthermore, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 investigate the effects of communicating values to those in and outside of the core activists group and show that values can bind, but also blind members of the disadvantaged group. In other words, values can help define who we are and what we stand for. However, values can also isolate those who share them and make them intolerant even to those who share their disadvantage, but not the ideological background.

As a whole, the main theoretical contributions of this thesis lie in illuminating and specifying the role of values in the process of politicization, and in addressing the consistently overlooked question of politicization of those members of a disadvantaged group who fall outside of the movement’s core support group (Chapter 5).