Community identity as resource and context: A mixed method investigation of coping and collective action in a disadvantaged community

Niamh McNamara, Clifford Stevenson, Orla T. Muldoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Community identities enhance well-being through the provision of social support and feelings of collective efficacy as well as by acting as a basis for collective action and social change. However, the precise mechanisms through which community identity acts to enhance well-being are complicated by stigmatisation which potentially undermines solidarity and collective action. The present research examines a real-world stigmatised community group in order to investigate: (1) the community identity factors that act to enhance well-being, and (2) the consequences of community identity for community action. Study 1 consisted of a household survey conducted in disadvantaged areas of Limerick city in Ireland. Participants (n=322) completed measures of community identification, social support, collective efficacy, community action, and psychological well-being. Mediation analysis indicated that perceptions of collective efficacy mediated the relationship between identification and well-being. However, levels of self-reported community action were low and unrelated to community identification. In Study 2, twelve follow–up multiple-participant interviews with residents and community group workers were thematically analysed, revealing high levels of stigmatisation and opposition to identity-related collective action. These findings suggest the potential for stigma to reduce collective action through undermining solidarity and social support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-403
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume43
Issue number5
Early online date06 Jun 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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