British Journal of Social Psychology vol:49 issue:2 pages:305-320
Two studies investigated whether the content of in-group identity affects the relation between in-group identification and ethnic prejudice. The first study among university students, tested whether national identity representations (i.e. ethnic vs. civic) moderate or mediate the relation between Flemish in-group identification and ethnic prejudice. A moderation hypothesis is supported when those higher in identification who subscribe to a more ethnic representation display higher ethnic prejudice levels than those higher in identification who subscribe to a more civic representation. A mediation hypothesis is supported when those higher in identification tend towards one specific representation, which in turn, should predict ethnic prejudice. Results supported a mediation hypothesis and showed that the more respondents identified with the Flemish in-group, the more ethnic their identity representation, and the more they were inclined to display ethnic prejudice. The second study tested this mediation from a longitudinal perspective in a two-wave study among high school students. In-group identification at Time 1 predicted over-time changes in identity representation, which in turn, predicted changes in ethnic prejudice. In addition to this, changes in identity representation were predicted by initial prejudice levels. The implications of these findings are discussed.