Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Collective action as the material expression of opinion-based group membership

McGarty, C., Bliuc, A.M., Thomas, E.F. and Bongiorno, R. (2009) Collective action as the material expression of opinion-based group membership. Journal of Social Issues, 65 (4). pp. 839-857.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


In this article, we argue that progress in the study of collective action rests on an increasingly sophisticated application of the social identity approach. We develop the view, however, that the application of this theoretical perspective has been limited by theoretical and empirical difficulties in distinguishing between social categories and psychological groups. These problems have undermined the ability of researchers to correctly specify the collective identities that actually underpin many instances of collective action. As a partial solution to this problem we focus on collective identities based on shared opinion (opinion-based groups). We develop the proposition that much collective action reflects the crystallization or instantiation of opinion-based groups. We also outline an intervention aimed at stimulating commitment to collective action through group-based interaction involving opinion-based group members. We conclude by emphasizing that opinion-based groups tend to be most successful when they present themselves as being representative or aligned with dominant, positively valued social categories such as nations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Item Control Page Item Control Page