Individual and collective empowerment through ingroup connectedness

TitleIndividual and collective empowerment through ingroup connectedness
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBakouri, M, Staerklé, C
JournalLIVES Working Papers
Keywordscoping efficacy, ingroup connectedness, needs statisfaction, social change commitment

During critical life transitions like the transition to adulthood, young people are required to actively deal with a number of adjustments. The challenges and demands are even more complex for members of socially disadvantaged groups (i.e., immigrants). In line with previous accounts of the critical role of co-agency during transitions, we develop and test a model that examines proximal groups’ connectedness as an outcome of individual needs satisfaction and argue for its empowering role both at the personal and the collective level, thus predicting: 1) greater self-esteem and 2) higher commitment to social change actions.

While previous group-based models of psychological empowerment are located at the intergroup level of analysis and based on the relevance of a particular categorical identity, this study suggests an understanding of the role of ingroups in terms of the sense of connectedness they provide and the resulting efficacy beliefs. The study thereby focuses on the less explored meso-level of interactions in individuals’ direct environment.

The model was tested and supported using survey data of youth populations (15-30) from different backgrounds (N = 521). The results point out the importance of this proximal level of connectedness for both personal and societal dynamics, especially amongst immigrants.