Effect of political extremism on the link between the feeling of threat to group’s image and intergroup hostility: The case of the expressions Tontinards and Sardinards in the Cameroonian context

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Effect of political extremism on the link between the feeling of threat to group’s image and intergroup hostility: The case of the expressions Tontinards and Sardinards in the Cameroonian context

Gustave Adolphe MESSANGA, Sabine Flore NGASSOM PENTCHEU, & Sonia NPIANE NGONGUEU
Department of Philosophy-Psychology-Sociology, University of Dschang, Cameroon

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Abstract : This study analyzes the effect of political extremism on the link between the feeling of threat to group’s image and intergroup hostility. It tests the hypothesis that political extremism has a moderating effect on the link between the feeling of threat to group’s image and intergroup hostility. Research methodology consisted on the administration of the scales of political extremism (Dono et al.,2018), threat to group’s image, and intergroup hostility (Schaafsma & Kipling, 2012) to 397 participants, including 221 Bamiléké and 176 Béti whose age varies between 17 and 59 years (M = 28.05; S.D. = 8.32). The results of the statistical analyzes provide empirical support for the hypothesis of the study. We conclude that this study contributes to the literature on the explanatory factors of intergroup hostility by revealing that the link between that construct and threat to group’s image is moderated by political extremism.

Keywords: Political extremism; feeling of threat to group’s image; intergroup hostility; Tontinards; Sardinards.

I. INTRODUCTION

Intergroup threat theory proposes that members of a group feel threat when they adhere to the idea that another group is capable of causing them harm (Stephan & Stephan, 2000). It distinguishes four forms of threat that can be used to predict prejudice against outgroups: realistic and symbolic threats, intergroup anxiety and negative stereotypes. The concept of realistic threat derives from the Realistic Conflict Theory which proposes that competition between groups for the access to limited resources can be at the origin of prejudices against other groups (Stephan & Renfro, 2002). In this logic, the realistic threat arises from the feeling that outgroups are in the position to attack ingroup’s life, material resources or power. The symbolic threat, on the other hand, is felt when outgroup dishonors, dehumanizes and devalues ingroup (Cameron et al., 2005). It arises because ingroup believes in the moral correctness of its own belief system (Stephan & Stephan, 2000) and fears that the new norms and beliefs defended by the outgroup will jeopardize its way of life. Intergroup anxiety involves psychological states such as embarrassment, rejection, discrimination or negative evaluation of outgroup’s members (Stephan & Stephan, 1985).