Political discourse

03. June 2020.

Challenge or Conformity to Group Norms: How Group-Affirmation Shapes Collective Action on Behalf of Roma People

The report was prepared by Constantina Badea from Université Paris Nanterre.


  • Social norms are internalized through identification with a group. Belonging to a social group such as a nationality provides members with a definition of “who we are” and a description and prescription of what being a group member involves (norms).
  • While sometimes people conform to social norms, in other circumstances they challenge and stand in contrast to perceived group norms, via collective actions.
  • Interventions based on self-affirmation theory can increase the group conformity vs group challenge effect.
  • Group-affirmation that draws on national group membership increased the salience of norms associated to national identity. Consequently, group-affirmation increased the impact of social norms on individuals’ intention to engage in collective action regarding Roma minority (conformity effect).
  • If social norms are non-discriminatory, group-affirmation can increase the positive impact of social norms on collective action helping Roma minority. If these norms are discriminatory, group-affirmation can increase the impact of these negative norms on collective action expressing hostility towards Roma minority.
  • Political discourse shapes social norms regarding attitudes towards minority groups. When these norms are discriminatory, they can interfere with social interventions and diminish citizens’ intentions to engage in Pro-Roma collective action.

You can read the whole report by clicking here.


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The project “Identifying evidence-based methods to effectively combat discrimination of the Roma in the changing political climate of Europe” (Grant. No. 808062 — PolRom — REC-AG-2017/REC-RDIS-DISC-AG-2017) is funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme (2014-2020) of the European Union.

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