Social Justice Research

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 1–6 | Cite as

Advances in Relative Deprivation Theory and Research

  • Heather J. SmithEmail author
  • Thomas F. Pettigrew


The focus of this special issue is relative deprivation (RD): the judgment that one or one’s group is worse off compared to some standard accompanied by feelings of anger and resentment. This collection of seven papers demonstrates the range of the new thinking and research about RD, and they include data from an impressive variety of participants—including Canadians (both French- and English-speakers), Dutch, the Maoris of New Zealand, Mongols, Singaporeans, and South Africans (both Blacks and Whites). These seven papers show that if RD, and its counterpart, relative gratification, are defined carefully, at the right level of analysis and employed within larger theoretical models, the concept offers invaluable insight to how people respond to often dramatic changes in their objective circumstances.


Relative deprivation Relative gratification Collective action Prejudice Deservingness Resentment Comparison 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sonoma State UniversityRohnert ParkUSA
  2. 2.University of California, Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

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