'I Have a Dream': A Typology of Social Change Goals

Joseph Sweetman, Colin Wayne Leach, Russell Spears, Felicia Pratto, Rim Saab

Abstract


To date, there is little in the way of theorizing or empirical work on the imagined endpoint of political action aimed at social change – the type of "dream" those engaged in action are attempting to bring into fruition. We suggest that previous approaches have focused narrowly on one type of social change – amelioration of collective grievances. In contrast, we argue that social change is much richer and imaginative than this narrow focus suggests. In the present article we draw on key constructs in social psychology (e.g., goals, efficacy, legitimacy, identity, social system, and social value) in order to develop a typology of social change goals. In doing so, we explain why people might support one type of social change (e.g., revolution) versus others (e.g., separatism or amelioration). The typology is used to discuss future directions for research and to highlight the implications for psychological (and broader) approaches to social change.


Keywords


social change; goals; collective action; efficacy; legitimacy; identity; system

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https://doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v1i1.85

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Citations:

  • Andrew L. Stewart, Joseph Sweetman (2018)
    Scholarship and Activism Diverge: Responding to MLK's Call with Theory and Research on Diversity, Political Action, and Resistance to Oppression
    Journal of Social Issues, 74(2), p. 204(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12264
  • Emma F. Thomas, Simon M. Bury, Winnifred R. Louis, Catherine E. Amiot, Pascal Molenberghs, Monique F. Crane, Jean Decety (2019)
    Vegetarian, vegan, activist, radical: Using latent profile analysis to examine different forms of support for animal welfare
    Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 22(6), p. 836(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430218824407
  • Joseph Sweetman (2018)
    When Similarities are More Important than Differences: “Politically Black” Union Members’ Experiences of Racism and Participation in Union Leadership
    Journal of Social Issues, 74(2), p. 244(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12267
  • Giovanni A. Travaglino, Dominic Abrams, Giuseppina Russo (2017)
    Dual routes from social identity to collective opposition to criminal organisations: Intracultural appropriation theory and the roles of honour codes and social change beliefs
    Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 20(3), p. 317(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430216682351
  • Vicki C. Baard, John Dumay (2018)
    Interventionist research in accounting: reflections on the good, the bad and the ugly
    Accounting & Finance
    https://doi.org/10.1111/acfi.12409
  • Karl-Andrew Woltin, Kai Sassenberg (2015)
    Showing engagement or not: The influence of social identification and group deadlines on individual control strategies
    Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 18(1), p. 24(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430214542254
  • Colin Wayne Leach, Andrew G. Livingstone (2015)
    Contesting the Meaning of Intergroup Disadvantage: Towards a Psychology of Resistance
    Journal of Social Issues, 71(3), p. 614(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12131
  • Siwar Hasan-Aslih, Liat Netzer, Martijn van Zomeren, Tamar Saguy, Maya Tamir, Eran Halperin (2019)
    When we want them to fear us: The motivation to influence outgroup emotions in collective action
    Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 22(5), p. 724(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430218769744
  • Leda Blackwood, Andrew G. Livingstone, Colin Wayne Leach (2013)
    Regarding Societal Change
    Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 1(1), p. 105(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v1i1.282
  • Emma F. Thomas, Craig McGarty, Avelie Stuart, Laura G. E. Smith, Luc Bourgeois (2019)
    Reaching consensus promotes the internalization of commitment to social change
    Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 22(5), p. 615(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430218780320
  • Stephen T. La Macchia, Winnifred R. Louis (2016)
    Understanding Peace and Conflict Through Social Identity Theory, Chapter 6, p. 89(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29869-6_6
  • Stephen T. La Macchia, Winnifred R. Louis (2016)
    Peace Psychology Book Series, p. 89(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29869-6_6
  • Peter R. Grant, Mark Bennett, Dominic Abrams (2017)
    Using the SIRDE model of social change to examine the vote of Scottish teenagers in the 2014 independence referendum
    British Journal of Social Psychology, 56(3), p. 455(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12186
  • Katherine Stroebe, Katie Wang, Stephen C. Wright (2015)
    Broadening Perspectives on Achieving Social Change
    Journal of Social Issues, 71(3), p. 633(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12132
  • Soledad de Lemus, Katherine Stroebe (2015)
    Achieving Social Change: A Matter of All for One?
    Journal of Social Issues, 71(3), p. 441(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12122
  • Winnifred R. Louis, Emma Thomas, Cassandra M. Chapman, Tulsi Achia, Susilo Wibisono, Zahra Mirnajafi, Lisa Droogendyk (2019)
    Emerging research on intergroup prosociality: Group members' charitable giving, positive contact, allyship, and solidarity with others
    Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 13(3), p. e12436(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12436
  • Emma F. Thomas, Craig McGarty (2017)
    Intergroup Helping, Chapter 18, p. 369(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-53026-0_18
  • Heather J. Smith, Stephanie McKee (2015)
    Reality and Perception: Power and Paranoia Within the Political Sphere
    Social Justice Research, 28(2), p. 247(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11211-015-0238-6
  • Winnifred R. Louis, Catherine E. Amiot, Emma F. Thomas, Leda Blackwood (2016)
    The “Activist Identity” and Activism across Domains: A Multiple Identities Analysis
    Journal of Social Issues, 72(2), p. 242(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12165
  • Leda Blackwood, Winnifred Louis (2017)
    Choosing between conciliatory and oppositional leaders: The role of out-group signals and in-group leader candidates' collective action tactics
    European Journal of Social Psychology, 47(3), p. 320(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2249
  • Emma F. Thomas, Craig McGarty (2018)
    Giving versus acting: Using latent profile analysis to distinguish between benevolent and activist support for global poverty reduction
    British Journal of Social Psychology, 57(1), p. 189(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12228



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