chapter  16
20 Pages

The Self and Intergroup Attitudes: Connecting “Fragile” Personal and Collective Self-Concepts

In this highly publicized comment during a fundraiser early in his presidential campaign, Obama hints at a general perception that individuals who are alienated or frustrated due to their circumstances may embrace group identities and corresponding attitudes in an effort to feel better about their situation. Is this the case? If so, are certain individuals more vulnerable to frustrations that sometimes encourage hostility and antipathy toward other groups? Or, are group identities and intergroup attitudes driven by a qualitatively different process than personal goals and individual frustration? We suggest the answer is a qualied “yes” to the former question-specically, it may be those who pursue particular self-related goals who are most likely to exemplify the kind of person described in the quote.