Sex Roles

, Volume 42, Issue 11–12, pp 1081–1089 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Gender Social Identity and Support for Feminism

  • Shawn Meghan Burn
  • Roger Aboud
  • Carey Moyles
Article

Abstract

This study is an application of social identity theory to feminist consciousness and activism. For women, strong gender identifications may enhance support for equality struggles, whereas for men, they may contribute to backlashes against feminism. University students (N = 276), primarily Euroamerican, completed a measure of gender self-esteem (GSE, that part of one's self-concept derived from one's gender), and two measures of feminism. High GSE in women and low GSE in men were related to support for feminism. Consistent with past research, women were more supportive of feminism than men, and in both genders, support for feminist ideas was greater than self-identification as a feminist.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Abrams, D., Thomas, J., & Hogg, M. A. (1990). Numerical distinctiveness, social identity and gender salience. British Journal of Social Psychology, 29, 87–92.Google Scholar
  2. Andersen, K., & Cook, E. A. (1984). Women, work, and political attitudes. American Journal of Political Science, 29, 606–625.Google Scholar
  3. Banaszak, L. A., & Plutzer, E. (1993). Contextual determinants of feminist attitudes: National and subnational influences in Western Europe. American Political Science Review, 87, 147–157.Google Scholar
  4. Basu, A. (1995). The challenge of local feminisms: Women's movements in global perspective.Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bat-Chava, Y. (1994). Group identification and self-esteem in deaf adults. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 87, 147–157.Google Scholar
  6. Breinlinger, S., & Kelly, C. (1994). Women's responses to status inequality: A test of social identity theory. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18, 1–16.Google Scholar
  7. Brewer, M. B. (1991). The social self: On being the same and different at the same time.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17, 475–482.Google Scholar
  8. Burn, S. M. (1996). The social psychology of gender. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  9. Burn, S. M. (2000). Women across cultures:Aglobal perspective. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.Google Scholar
  10. Buschman, J. K., & Lenart, S. (1996). “I am not a feminist, but...”: College women, feminism, and negative experiences. Political Psychology, 17, 59–75.Google Scholar
  11. Collins, P. H. (1990). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. Boston: Irwin Hyman.Google Scholar
  12. Cook, E. A. (1989). Measuring feminist consciousness. Women and Politics, 9, 71–88.Google Scholar
  13. Crocker, J., & Luhtanen, R. (1990). Collective self-esteem and ingroup bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 60–67.Google Scholar
  14. Crocker, J., & Major, B. (1989). Social stigma and self-esteem: The self-protective properties of stigma. Psychological Review, 96, 608–630.Google Scholar
  15. Crocker, J., & Major, B. (1992). A collective self-esteem scale: Self-evaluation of one's social identity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 302–318.Google Scholar
  16. Dion, K. L. (1986). Responses to perceived discrimination and relative deprivation. In J. M. Olson, C. P. Herman, & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), Relative deprivation and social comparison (pp. 159–179). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  17. Ellemers, N. (1993). The influence of socio-structural variables on identity management strategies.In W. Stroebe and M. Hewstone (Eds.), European review of social psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 27–57). Chichester, England: Wiley.Google Scholar
  18. Gurin, P., & Markus, H. (1989). Cognitive consequences of gender identity. In S. Skevington and D. Baker (Eds.), The social identity of women (pp. 152–172). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  19. Gurin, P., Miller, A. H., & Gurin, G. (1980). Stratum identification and consciousness. Social Psychology Quarterly, 43, 30–47.Google Scholar
  20. Henderson-King, D. H., & Stewart, A. J. (1994). Women or feminists? Assessing women's group consciousness. Sex Roles, 31, 505–516.Google Scholar
  21. Hogg, M. A., & Turner, J. C. (1987). Intergroup behavior, self-stereotyping, and the salience of social categories. British Journal of Social Psychology, 26, 325–340.Google Scholar
  22. Jacobson, M. B. (1981). You say potato and I say potahto: Attitudes toward feminism as a function of its subject-selected label. Sex Roles, 7, 349–354.Google Scholar
  23. Kemp, A., Madlala, N., Moodley, A., & Salo, E. (1995). The dawn of a new day: Redefining South African feminism. In A. Basu (Ed.), The challenge of local feminisms: Women's movements in global perspective (pp. 131–162). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  24. Komarovsky, M. (1985). Women in college: Shaping new feminine identities. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  25. Morgan, B. L. (1996). Putting the feminism into feminism scales: Introduction of a Liberal Feminist Attitude and Ideology Scale (LFAIS). Sex Roles, 34, 359–390.Google Scholar
  26. Pharr, S. (1988). Homophobia: A weapon of sexism. In S. Ruth (Ed.), Issues in feminism (3rd ed., pp. 253–263). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.Google Scholar
  27. Renzetti, C. (1987). New wave or second stage? Attitudes of college women towards feminism.Sex Roles, 16, 265–227.Google Scholar
  28. Skevington, S., & Baker, D. (1989). Introduction. In S. Skevington and D. Baker (Eds.), The social identity of women (pp. 1–14). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Smith, H. J., & Tyler, T. R. (1997). Choosing the right pond: The impact of group membership on self-esteem and group-oriented behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 33, 146–170.Google Scholar
  30. Swan, S., & Wyer, R. S. (1997). Gender stereotypes and social identity: How being in the minority affects judgments of self and others. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 1265–1276.Google Scholar
  31. Tajfel, H. (1981). Human groups and social categories: Studies in social psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Walker, I., & Mann, L. (1987). Unemployment, relative deprivation, and social protest. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 13, 275–283.Google Scholar
  33. Williams, J. A., & Giles, H. (1978). The changing status of women in society: An intergroup perspective. In H. Tajfel (Ed.), Differentiation between social groups: Studies in the social psychology of intergroup relations. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shawn Meghan Burn
    • 1
  • Roger Aboud
    • 2
  • Carey Moyles
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Human DevelopmentCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.California Polytechnic State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations