Introduction to intergroup contact and collective action: Integrative perspectives
Choma BL., McKeown S.
The bodies of research on intergroup contact and on collective action have historically remained separate in their pursuit to understand how to promote social equality. In recent years, however, researchers have begun to explore the extent to which contact and collective action work together or against each other in the pursuit of social change. To date, there is mixed evidence on the relation between these two constructs, with some suggesting that intergroup contact can have ironic effects by reducing the likelihood that disadvantaged group members will engage in collective action in favor of their own group. The goal of this Special Issue is to better understand the effect that intergroup contact can have on collective action and ignite a new body of research that directly considers the relation between the two. The papers comprising this Special Issue offer unique and yet complementary perspectives, highlighting the importance of moving beyond dyadic relations, the need to consider intergroup friendships and social embeddedness, the value of promoting inclusive identities and how support for collective action not only differs by group status but is also influenced by individual differences. Together, the papers offer theoretical and methodological suggestions to move research in this important field forward.