Intersectional consciousness in collective victim beliefs: Perceived intragroup differences among disadvantaged groups
Although our experiences are shaped by multiple social identities such as race, class, and gender, most research has focused on single-identity groups (e.g., race). This includes research on collective victimization, which assumes that violence impacts group members uniformly. Conversely, work on intersectional consciousness examines awareness of how multiple social identities intersect and create within-group differences. Integrating and expanding the research on intersectional consciousness and on collective victimhood, this article investigates perceived intragroup differences in experiences of victimization stemming from intersecting identities of gender and class among two disadvantaged groups in the understudied context of India. We conducted individual interviews (N = 33) and focus groups (K = 12; N = 66) among Muslims and Dalits (lower-caste Hindus). Thematic analysis revealed that—even though ingroup cohesion (i.e., intragroup similarity) is often enhanced by external threat— people expressed awareness of intragroup differences in experiences of victimization in three distinct ways: highlighting relative privilege, engaging in competitive victimhood, or describing qualitative differences. We discuss the implications for conflict and solidarity within minority groups in the context of political developments in India, where there have been attempts to polarize intragroup divisions.
Nair, Rashmi and Vollhardt, Johanna Ray, "Intersectional consciousness in collective victim beliefs: Perceived intragroup differences among disadvantaged groups" (2019). Psychology. 641.