“We Need Them, They Need Us”: Perceived Indispensability and Intergroup Relations

Maykel Verkuyten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to advance psychological theory and research on attitudes and behavior towards low status minority groups by discussing group-level indispensability as an important yet largely unexplored factor in intergroup dynamics. Drawing on theory and international research from psychology and the social sciences, the distinction between functional indispensability and identity indispensability is first discussed. Subsequently various positive intergroup implications of perceived indispensability are considered, and for giving a balanced account possible negative outcomes are also discussed. Then, the minority perspective is considered and the question of when positive or negative intergroup implications of perceived indispensability are less or more likely. The paper concludes with future directions for theoretical and empirical development of the notion of group-level indispensability and its intergroup consequences in a range of settings and contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalReview of General Psychology
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date29 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • compositionality
  • indispensability
  • interdependence
  • intergroup relations
  • minorities

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