How Collective-Action Failure Shapes Group Heterogeneity and Engagement in Conventional and Radical Action Over Time

Morgana Lizzio-Wilson, Emma F. Thomas, Winnifred R. Louis, Brittany Wilcockson, Catherine E. Amiot, Fathali M. Moghaddam, Craig McGarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Extensive research has identified factors influencing collective-action participation. However, less is known about how collective-action outcomes (i.e., success and failure) shape engagement in social movements over time. Using data collected before and after the 2017 marriage-equality debate in Australia, we conducted a latent profile analysis that indicated that success unified supporters of change (n = 420), whereas failure created subgroups among opponents (n = 419), reflecting four divergent responses: disengagement (resigned acceptors), moderate disengagement and continued investment (moderates), and renewed commitment to the cause using similar strategies (stay-the-course opponents) or new strategies (innovators). Resigned acceptors were least inclined to act following failure, whereas innovators were generally more likely to engage in conventional action and justify using radical action relative to the other profiles. These divergent reactions were predicted by differing baseline levels of social identification, group efficacy, and anger. Collective-action outcomes dynamically shape participation in social movements; this is an important direction for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-535
Number of pages17
JournalPsychological Science
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • collective-action outcomes
  • collective-action participation
  • conventional collective action
  • marriage equality
  • open materials
  • radical collective action

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