, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 331-342

Putting the group back into intergroup justice studies

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This paper argues that groups have traditionally been conceptualized in two major ways—subjective and objective—which correspond to the different conceptions found within the disciplines of psychology and sociology. We argue that the term “group” is frequently used too carelessly since rarely are readers informed of the conception of group to which the findings are relevant. Findings generated from studies involving one conception of group may not allow valid inferences to groups conceptualized differently. We suggest that a more sociological conception of group is needed to balance the current emphasis based in the psychological tradition. We believe that such a difference in conceptualizing groups could well lead to very different speculations about the nature of intergroup justice relations.