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Building a Tower of Babel? Integrating Core Motivations and Features of Social Structure into the Political Psychology of Political Action

van Zomeren, M., Feb-2016, In : Political Psychology. 37, S1, p. 87-114 28 p.

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  • Building a Tower of Babel. Integrating Core Motivations and Features of Social

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DOI

The political psychology of political action provides the potential for building bridges between scholars from different fields. The main aim of this article is to set some baby steps toward building two conceptual bridges by bringing together a core motivation approach to political action with core features of the social structure that embeds those core motivations. The first conceptual bridge relies on considering a broader motivational model than provided by rational actor or social identity approaches, whereas the second bridge relies on considering core features of the social structure as potentiating these core motivations for political action. More specifically, I first discuss definitions of political action. Second, I identify four converging themes across different literatures on collective action, social movement participation, and voting turnout, resulting in a taxonomy of core motivations for political action (i.e., personal or group-based identity, efficacy, emotion, and moral motivations). Third, in a more explorative fashion I identify four core features of the social structure (ingroup, outgroup, interpersonal network, and institutional features), which I tentatively connect with the taxonomy of core motivations. Finally, I discuss the theoretical, empirical, and practical implications of this generalist, generative, and integrative perspective on political action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-114
Number of pages28
JournalPolitical Psychology
Volume37
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2016

    Keywords

  • political action, motivation, social structure, identity, efficacy, emotion, morality, GROUP-BASED ANGER, RELATIVE DEPRIVATION THEORY, DUAL-PATHWAY MODEL, COLLECTIVE ACTION, VOTER TURNOUT, MOVEMENT PARTICIPATION, RESOURCE MOBILIZATION, SYSTEM JUSTIFICATION, ACTION TENDENCIES, MORAL CONVICTION

ID: 33331041