Perceived procedural justice, group identification, and support for economic equality: a test of the Group Engagement Model


This research explores the relationship between perceived procedural justice, group identification and support for economic equality at the national (Italian) and supranational (European and global) levels. The aim is to test the assumptions of the Group Engagement Model (GEM), stating that procedural justice encourages group identification, which in turn increases pro-group behaviour towards reaching shared goals. In addition, we also aim to challenge GEM with research on system-justification that shows how perceived justice is intertwined with the higher need to secure boundaries of group membership limiting expectations of extended social solidarity. The data represents a sample (N = 222) of Italian adults obtained via social medias using a self-report questionnaire. Perceived procedural justice accounted for higher group identification and support for inequality at all three levels, suggesting the occurrence of system-justifying dynamics. Namely, subjects who perceived higher levels of procedural justice in the Italian national, European and global contexts supported less economic equality for members of these three communities respectively. However, this relationship was not mediated by their group identification. The results are discussed from a global perspective towards the reduction of economic inequality.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v6i2-1p56

Keywords: economic inequality; group engagement model; group identification; social justice; system justification; social identity


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