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The Psychology of Legitimacy
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  • 31 b/w illus. 15 tables
  • Page extent: 494 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.67 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 305
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: HM821 .P75 2001
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Social stratification
    • Stereotype (Psychology)
    • Intergroup relations
    • Rationalization (Psychology)
    • Legitimacy of governments

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521786997 | ISBN-10: 0521786991)

This book, first published in 2001, summarizes and integrates the best social scientific research in a previously neglected but rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field seeking to understand processes of legitimation and de-legitimation in social relations. Contributors are leading researchers in sociology, psychology, political science, and organizational behavior, and the themes they cover are overlapping and mutually informative. The book is constructed primarily around the authors and their theories, and there is an uncommon degree of cross talk amongst the authors. The chapters converge on key questions concerning the ways in which people construct ideological justifications or rationalizations for their own actions and for the actions of others taken on behalf of valued groups and systems. The result is a general approach to the psychological basis of social inequality, which may be applied to distinctions of race, gender, social class, occupational status, and many other forms of inequality.

• Offers research on, and unified insight to legitimacy, a previously neglected topic in psychology • Provides the application of basic research to social problems such as inequality, prejudice, and discrimination • The contributors are very prominent, esteemed sociological, psychological, and organizational researchers


Part I: Introduction: 1. Emerging perspectives on the psychology of legitimacy John T. Jost and Brenda Major; Part II. Historical Perspectives on Sociological and Psychological Theories of Legitimacy: 2. Theories of legitimacy Morris Zelditch, Jr; 3. Reflections on social and psychological processes of legitimization and delegitimization Herbert C. Kelman; Part III. Cognitive and Perceptual Processes in the Appraisal of Legitimacy: 4. A perceptual theory of legitimacy: policies, prejudice, social institutions, and moral value Chris Crandall and Ryan Beasley; 5. Blame it on the group: entitativity, subjective essentialism, and social attribution Vincent Yzerbyt and Anouk Rogier; 6. Status vs. quo: naive realism and the search for social change and perceived legitimacy Robert J. Robinson and Laura Kray; Part IV. The Tolerance of Injustice: Implications for Self and Society: 7. Tolerance and personal deprivation James M. Olson and Carolyn Hafer; 8. Legitimacy and the construal of social advantage Brenda Major and Toni Schmader; 9. Individual upward mobility and the perceived legitimacy of intergroup relations Naomi Ellemers; 10. Restricted intergroup boundaries: tokenism, ambiguity and the tolerance of injustice Stephen C. Wright; Part V. Sterotyping, Ideology and the Legitimation of Inequality: 11. The emergence of status beliefs: from structural inequality to legitimizing ideology Cecilia L. Ridgeway; 12. Ambivalent stereotypes as legitimizing ideologies: differentiating paternalistic and envious prejudice Peter Glick and Susan T. Fiske; 13. Legitimizing ideologies: the social dominance approach Jim Sidanius, Shana Levin, Christopher M. Federico, and Felicia Pratto; 14. The (il)legitimacy of intergroup bias: from social reality to social resistance Russell Spears, Jolanda Jetten and Bertjan Doosje; 15. Conflicts of legitimation among self, group, and system: the integrative potential of system justification theory John T. Jost, Diana Burgess and Cristina Mosso; Part VI. Institutional and Organizational Processes of Legitimation: 16. The architecture of legitimacy: constructing accounts of organizational controversies Kimberly D. Elsbach; 17. A psychological perspective on the legitimacy of institutions and authorities Tom R. Tyler; 18. License to kill: violence and legitimacy in expropriative social relations Mary R. Jackman.


John T. Jost, Brenda Major, Morris Zelditch Jr, Herbert C. Kelman, Chris Crandall, Ryan Beasley, Vincent Yzerbyt, Anouk Rogier, Robert J. Robinson, Laura Kray, James M. Olson, Carolyn L. Hafer, Toni Schmader, Naomi Ellemers, Stephen C. Wright, Cecilia L. Ridgeway, Peter Glick, Susan T. Fiske, Jim Sidanius, Shana Levin, Christopher M. Federico, Felicia Pratto, Russell Spears, Jolanda Jetten, Bertjan Dossje, Diana Burgess, Cristina O. Mosso, Kimberly D. Elsbach,Tom R. Tyler, Mary R. Jackman

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