Perceived group deprivation and intergroup solidarity: Muslims’ attitudes towards other minorities in the United States

Eman Abdelhadi, John O’brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What is the relationship between the sense of perceived discrimination among members of a marginalized racial, ethnic, or religious group and their political attitudes towards other marginalized groups within their society? Research on minority groups in politics has established that the feeling that one’s own group is socially deprived and discriminated against is generally associated with an increase in within-group solidarity, observable in members’ stronger expressions of collective identity—also called “group consciousness” or “linked fate”—as well as their robust support for political parties and policies seen as directly benefitting members of their in group. Yet an underappreciated strand of this same research suggests that a strong sense of in-group deprivation may also lead to greater empathy and political support for other marginalized minorities, a phenomenon we refer to as intergroup solidarity. In this paper, we use the case of Muslim Americans to test the hypothesis that perceptions of group deprivation can lead to increased intergroup solidarity with other socially marginalized racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. We find that Muslims who feel that they have been discriminated against and/or who believe Muslims as a group are a target of discrimination are more likely to embrace the struggles of other groups and recognize the marginalization of other groups. Our findings suggest that in-group political consciousness raising may be a first step toward intergroup coalition building among those who suffer from discrimination and marginalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number604
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • American Muslims
  • Discrimination
  • Group consciousness
  • Group deprivation
  • Political attitudes
  • Racialization
  • Solidarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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