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COPING WITH DISADVANTAGES SOCIAL STATUS: STRUCTURAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DETERMINANTS OF INDIVIDUALISTIC VS. COLLECTIVIST BEHAVIOUR

Objective



With the present project we wish to investigate how people respond to disadvantaged social status. It has been argued that people may either seek a higher status position individually or, alternatively, join their group in an attempt to improve its position as a whole.However, the factors associated with either of these tendencies have not yet been clarified. It is our purpose to study the role played by characteristics of the social structure, such as group status, stability of the relative groups' positions, permeability of boundaries between groups, and legitimacy of status in the choice between alternative behaviours. Further, we intend to incorporate in our analysis such important psychological features as ingroup identification and degree of vulnerability to the pressure the group is able to exert. In this way, the present project aims at examining the interplay between socio-structural and psychological determinants of behavioural choice, and by so doing integrate two traditionally separate lines of research. This integration seems even more pertinent in light of the fact that these research strands have posited contradictory predictions regarding group member's behaviour. In addition, we expect to confer this project both applied and basic relevance, by combining field research, having as its object the population of Portuguese immigrants in Holland, with laboratory experimentation. In fact, it is our wish to contribute to the understanding of the problems of an increasingly multi-cultural and interdependent society, as is the case in Europe. Specifically, this research may constitute an meaningful contribution to the study of the different adaptation strategies displayed by migrating communities in response to social structures other than their own.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)

Coordinator

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Address
1,Van Der Boechorststraat
1081 BT Amsterdam
Netherlands

Participants (1)

Not available
Portugal