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date: 14 July 2024

Minority Influence and Social Changelocked

Minority Influence and Social Changelocked

  • Amber M. GaffneyAmber M. GaffneyDepartment of Psychology, California Polytechnic University Humboldt


Societies and small groups only undergo change when individuals or groups dissent from the dominant perspective. The powerful rarely have the motivation to share their power and resources or to create change to a system that benefits them. Therefore, the onus of social change is often carried by those who lack the resources or numbers to make the ones in power bend their knees. Social change is often the product of the hard work of minority groups and the consistent branding of perspectives that provide an alternative vision to dominant majority perspectives. As witnessed by the typically slow nature of societal progress, the vast number of attempts from minorities to create social change are unsuccessful or require their efforts to extend over long periods of time. However, when they are successful, they transform groups and societies (both for the greater good and for destructive purposes). The major areas of empirical research in the minority influence tradition focus how minorities and majorities differently impact message processing. However, the literature can benefit from more fully examining the contexts in which minority influence occurs. This requires a scholarly focus on group processes and intergroup relations to be integrated into the minority influence tradition to expand the motives underlying minority influence and social change. Moreover, considering the target's relationship to both minority and majority sources and the implications these sources have for group composition and intergroup relations will help to expand this large innovative body of work


  • Methods and Approaches in Psychology
  • Social Psychology

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