Exploring the intergroup consequences of majority members' perceptions that minority members want majority members to adopt the minority culture

Nali Moftizadeh, Hanna Zagefka, Lucía López‐Rodríguez, Alexandra Vázquez, Ravinder Barn
Published Online:
16 Mar 2021

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There remains an obvious gap in the acculturation literature, which relates to cultural change associated with the majority/dominant group. This paper explores how majority members react to a perceived expectation from minority members that majority members should undergo cultural change. A study was conducted exploring how majority members' perceptions of a demand by minority members that the majority should adopt the minority culture affects the majority members' preferences for minority acculturation, and whether effects are mediated by perceptions of symbolic threat. Two hundred sixty‐six participants who self‐reported being white British completed an online survey. A model was hypothesized whereby a perception that minority members demand that the majority takes on the minority culture predicted perceived symbolic threat, which was in turn negatively associated with a desire that minority members should maintain the minority culture, and positively with a desire that minority members should adopt the majority culture. Results supported the hypothesized model, with all individual paths and indirect effects significant in the hypothesized directions. Symbolic threat mediated the effect of perceived demand for minority culture adoption on majority preferences for minority acculturation. Findings are discussed in relation to implications for intergroup relations in culturally plural societies.

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