The impact of religious identification on national identification and engagement in collective action to support Rohingya refugees: A comparison between Australia and Malaysia

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Abstract

Research comparing how people engage in collective action in different nations to promote justice for disadvantaged groups is scarce. We investigated the effects of national identification (glorification/attachment) and religious identification across two nations (Australia, N = 358 and Malaysia, N = 300) on collective action to support Rohingya refugees of the 2017 refugee crisis. Specifically, we tested whether the relationship between national identification and collective action would be moderated by religious identification, and whether the latter would be moderated by nation. As glorification is associated with prejudice against other groups within the nation, we predicted and found support for the hypothesis that glorification of Australian identity would be a negative predictor of collective action, regardless of religion. In contrast, we hypothesized that in the Malaysian context, glorification and collective support would be shaped by religious (Islamic) identity which represented a social category shared by Malays and Rohingya refugees. Results showed that only when Malays identified with Islam, the relationship between glorification and collective support was positive. Unexpectedly, attachment and identification with Christianity or no-religion inhibited collective support in the Australian context. The findings challenge commonly held views about glorification and attachment and enhance insight in cross-national solidarity in a world of increasing global interdependence.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Early online date30 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • collective action
  • cross-national differences
  • intersection of religious commitment and national identification

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