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BERT KLANDERMANS, MEREL WERNER, AND MARJOKA VAN DOORN Redeeming Apartheid’s Legacy: Collective Guilt, Political Ideology, and Compensation.

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Presentation on theme: "BERT KLANDERMANS, MEREL WERNER, AND MARJOKA VAN DOORN Redeeming Apartheid’s Legacy: Collective Guilt, Political Ideology, and Compensation."— Presentation transcript:

1 BERT KLANDERMANS, MEREL WERNER, AND MARJOKA VAN DOORN Redeeming Apartheid’s Legacy: Collective Guilt, Political Ideology, and Compensation

2 Background Information Apartheid  The legal racial segregation that took place in South Africa from 1948 to 1990.  It was begun by the National Party when they were able to gain control of the government and divided the population into racial groups, white, black or Bantu (African), or colored (mixed descent) and was used as a way to keep the party in control of both the economy and social systems.  Those who were designated as black had to carry passbooks with their fingerprints, photo, and information in order to enter areas deemed “white only”  Those categorized as black also lost their citizenship rights and were assigned to ten tribal based self-governments or homelands and passbooks were required to leave these homelands.  The population at this time was made up of 19 million blacks and 4.5 million whites; yet the designated homelands only made up 13% of the available land in South Africa and was generally the least desirable land.  Apartheid ended in 1990 when Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 30 years. In 1994 he was elected the first black president of South Africa. Afrikaner  Afrikaans speaking individuals in South Africa who are of northern European descent.

3 Can Past Transgression Create Guilt in Future Generations? The current study wanted to find out the extent to which white South African youth felt guilt about apartheid There were 3 main questions that they wanted to answer:  “Does the history of apartheid generate feelings of guilt among white South African youth?”  “Is the formation of such feelings of guilt influenced by identity strength and ideology?”  “Do feelings of guilt generate positive attitudes towards affirmative action?” The researchers hypothesized that there would be:  “Curvilinear relationship between identification and guilt”  “higher levels of guilt among liberals than among conservatives”  “stronger feelings of guilt produce more positive attitudes toward affirmative action” They conducted two different studies  The first study consisted of indepth interviews of 21 white South African college students  The second study consisted of 180 white South African student participants filling out questionnaires in order to quantitatively explore the results from the first study.

4 Results: Study 1 Indepth Interviews In this study 3 groups were discovered Group 1 felt guilty about the history of apartheid and viewed the past negatively  5 out of 21 students feel into this group  Not only did they not agree with apartheid and feel guilty about what had happened but they felt shame about the past too.  Identification as Afrikaners was very important for those in this group; they were not able to separate their own personal identity from that of the group  This group had a very positive view of affirmative action. Group 2 viewed the past (apartheid) negatively, but did not feel guilty  11 out of 21 students feel into this group.  There were found to be 3 subgroups of reasoning with these individuals:  It was not us: Only a small group of Afrikaners were responsible or it was the government who was responsible; they were too young so why should they be held responsible  We were not them: Those in this group said they were not “white Afrikaners” thus they could not be blamed  Apartheid is in the past: Those in this group believed that apartheid was in the past and there are more important things to worry about now  Those in this group did not support affirmative action and saw it as a threat to their own life and prosperity.  This group was found to be most interesting to the researchers because they found a way to “plead not guilty” Group 3 did not have a negative view of the past and did not feel guilt about the past history  4 of the 21 students feel into this group  This group did not approve of affirmative action and felt that it was the reason that the economy in South Africa was not doing well. None of the participants denied apartheid, but their reaction to or evaluation of apartheid varied, with disapproval of apartheid and identification as Afrikaner most likely to produce collective guilt.

5 Results: Study 2 Questionnaires This study measured collective guilt, affirmative action attitude, identity, and ideology Those who most strongly identified themselves as white South African held both the highest and lowest levels of collective guilt depending on how they identified themselves politically  Those who identified themselves as liberals experienced guilt and this collective guilt increased the more the individual identified themselves as white South Africans  Those who identified themselves as conservatives did not experience guilt and the feelings of guilt decreased as identification as a white South Africans increased Collective guilt mediates between the political ideology and affirmative action attitude  Collective guilt was affected by politically ideology, but collective guilt is what affects the attitude towards affirmative action.  Those who experienced the most guilt have the most positive attitude towards affirmative action Is political ideology the best way to predict and identify those who experience collective guilt? What about factors such as family beliefs and past experiences?

6 Why Individuals Protest Precived Transgressions of Their Country: The Role of Shame, Anger, and Guilt Arati Lyer, Tony Schmader, and Brian Lickel (2007) Two studies were conducted looking at whether the feelings of shame, anger, and guilt in American and British citizens affected their reaction to the policies of postwar Iraq.  This study is different in that it is looking at an ongoing transgression vs. previous studies that have looked at past harm. Those who believed that their country was responsible for illicit or harmful conditions in Iraq experienced the most anger, shame, and guilt; these feelings were directed at both the ingroup and the representatives of the group. Hypothesizes  Anger that is directed at the ingroup will predict individuals to support compensation and confrontation of the transgression.  Shame will be predictive of individuals desiring withdrawal from Iraq.  Guilt in an intergroup will not predict independently any specific political action. Findings:  Those who experienced anger at the ingroup were more likely to desire compensation, withdrawal from Iraq, and responsible parties to be held accountable.  Those who experienced shame were more likely to desire withdrawal from Iraq  Guilt by itself was not a predictor of any single political action, this was different from the previous study. Previous research has focused on individual emotional reactions to personal and interpersonal situations but not intergroup situations Lyer, Schamader, and Llckel state that their study helps to highlight that “many of the appraisal processes that predict individuals’ distinct emotional responses to their personal circumstances also predicted their emotional responses to intergroup contexts.” Could the findings that guilt did not independently predict any political desire or action by itself be due to the participants not seeing themselves as part of the ingroup, or part of the group that made the decision? Those from the previous study who did not associate themselves as Afrikaner did not feel guilt, is this the same concept or underlying feeling?

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