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Horizontal Hostility: Multiple Minority Groups and Differentiation from the Mainstream

Group Processes & Intergroup Relations , Volume 9 (3): 339 – Jul 1, 2006


Sage Publications
Copyright © 2006 by SAGE Publications
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Horizontal Hostility: Multiple Minority Groups and Differentiation from the Mainstream


Three studies examined minority group members' attitudes toward other, similar minority groups. We predicted that minority group members would differentiate between multiple outgroups with asymmetric horizontal hostility (White & Langer, 1999), a pattern of expressing relatively unfavorable attitudes toward an outgroup that is similar to and more mainstream than the minority ingroup. We replicated White and Langer's pattern of horizontal hostility among members of minority political parties in Greece (Study 1). When the mainstream majority was made a salient part of the intergroup context, vegetarians' attitudes toward vegans became more positive, and vegans' attitudes toward vegetarians more negative (Study 2). In Study 3, mainstream salience made Dartmouth College students' relative evaluations of a similar, more mainstream college more negative, whereas priming a superordinate minority identity made them more positive. Results suggest that asymmetric horizontal hostility results from the motivation to differentiate one's minority ingroup from a similar, more mainstream group in comparative contexts anchored by the mainstream majority outgroup.
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