Predictors of Strength of In-Group Identity in Northern Ireland: Impact of Past Sectarian Conflict, Relative Deprivation and Church Attendance

Marcie C. Goeke-Morey, Ed Cairns, Laura K. Taylor, Christine E. Merrilees, Peter Shirlow, E. Mark Cummings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social identity in Northern Ireland is multifaceted, with historical, religious, political, social, economic, and psychological underpinnings. Understanding the factors that influence the strength of identity with the Protestant or Catholic community, the two predominate social groups in Northern Ireland, has implications for individual well-being as well as for the continuation of tension and violence in this setting of protracted intergroup conflict. This study examined predictors of the strength of in-group identity in 692 women (mean age 37 years) in post-accord Northern Ireland. For Catholics, strength of in-group identity was positively linked to past negative impact of sectarian conflict and more frequent current church attendance, whereas for Protestants, strength of in-group identity was related to greater status satisfaction regarding access to jobs, standard of living, and political power compared with Catholics; that is, those who felt less relative deprivation. The discussion considers the differences in the factors underlying stronger identity for Protestants and Catholics in this context. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Volume25
Issue number4
Early online date13 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

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