Intergroup contact and social change: Implications of negative and positive contact for collective action in advantaged and disadvantaged groups
Reimer NK., Becker JC., Benz A., Christ O., Dhont K., Klocke U., Neji S., Rychlowska M., Schmid K., Hewstone M.
Previous research has shown that (1) positive intergroup contact with an advantaged group can discourage collective action among disadvantaged-group members and (2) positive intergroup contact can encourage advantaged-group members to take action on behalf of disadvantaged outgroups. Two studies investigated the effects of negative as well as positive intergroup contact. Study 1 (N = 482) found that negative but not positive contact with heterosexual people was associated with sexual-minority students’ engagement in collective action (via group identification and perceived discrimination). Among heterosexual students, positive and negative contact were associated with, respectively, more and less LGB activism. Study 2 (N = 1,469) found that only negative contact (via perceived discrimination) predicted LGBT students’ collective action intentions longitudinally while only positive contact predicted heterosexual/cisgender students’ LGBT activism. Implications for the relationship between intergroup contact, collective action, and social change are discussed.