Aligning identities, emotions, and beliefs to create commitment to sustainable social and political action

Emma F. Thomas, Craig McGarty, Kenneth I. Mavor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article the authors explore the social psychological processes underpinning sustainable commitment to a social or political cause. Drawing on recent developments in the collective action, identity formation, and social norm literatures, they advance a new model to understand sustainable commitment to action. The normative alignment model suggests that one solution to promoting ongoing commitment to collective action lies in crafting a social identity with a relevant pattern of norms for emotion, efficacy, and action. Rather than viewing group emotion, collective efficacy, and action as group products, the authors conceptualize norms about these as contributing to a dynamic system of meaning, which can shape ongoing commitment to a cause. By exploring emotion, efficacy, and action as group norms, it allows scholars to reenergize the theoretical connections between collective identification and subjective meaning but also allows for a fresh perspective on complex questions of causality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-218
Number of pages25
JournalPERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • social identity
  • norms
  • social roles
  • emotion
  • group processes

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