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The Social Psychology of Intergroup Reconciliation$
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Arie Nadler, Thomas Malloy, and Jeffrey D. Fisher

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300314.001.0001

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Social Categorization, Standards of Justice, and Collective Guilt

Social Categorization, Standards of Justice, and Collective Guilt

(p.77) Chapter 4 Social Categorization, Standards of Justice, and Collective Guilt
The Social Psychology of Intergroup Reconciliation

Anca M. Miron

Nyla R. Branscombe

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines a model describing when and how one particular intergroup emotion — collective guilt — will be experienced depending on the standard employed for judging the social injustice perpetrated by the in-group against an out-group. In line with the common in-group identity model and self-categorization theory, it is argued that perpetrators or advantaged group members can categorize victims along a continuum of increasing inclusiveness — with the most inclusive category being humans. Under certain conditions, out-group members (they) can be seen as members of a more inclusive group (us) that also includes the in-group (we); shifting to such inclusive categorization of out-group members can have beneficial effects for the in-group's relationship with that out-group. It is argued that the extent to which victims of harm doing are included in a salient social category will affect the harshness of the standards used to evaluate the in-group's harmful actions toward them. That is, when out-group members are included in a common in-group, harsher judgments should be made about in-group members who perpetrated harm against the former out-group members who are now seen as part of a larger, superordinate in-group. The severity of the standard used, will, in turn, affect the appraisal of injustice and the extent to which collective guilt is experienced.

Keywords:   victims, intergroup relations, reconciliation, social injustice, in-group, out-group

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