Neither fair nor unchangeable but part of the natural order: orientations towards inequality in the face of criticism of the economic system

Becker, Sarah and Sparks, Paul (2016) Neither fair nor unchangeable but part of the natural order: orientations towards inequality in the face of criticism of the economic system. Social Justice Research, 29 (4). pp. 456-472. ISSN 0885-7466

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Abstract

The magnitude of climate change threats to life on the planet is not matched by the level of current mitigation strategies. To contribute to our understanding of inaction in the face of climate change, the reported study draws upon the pro status quo motivations encapsulated within System Justification Theory. In an online questionnaire study, participants (N = 136) initially completed a measure of General System Justification. Participants in a “System-critical” condition were then exposed to information linking environmental problems to the current economic system; participants in a Control condition were exposed to information unrelated to either environmental problems or the economic system. A measure of Economic System Justification was subsequently administered. Regressions of Economic System Justification revealed interactions between General System Justification and Information Type: higher general system justifiers in the System-critical condition rated the economic system as less fair than did their counterparts in the Control condition. However, they also indicated inequality as more natural than did their counterparts in the Control condition. The groups did not differ in terms of beliefs about the economic system being open to change. The results are discussed in terms of how reassurance about the maintenance of the status quo may be bolstered by recourse to beliefs in a natural order.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Paul Sparks
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2016 14:54
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2017 01:59
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/62281

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