Privilege lost: How dominant groups react to shifts in cultural primacy and power

Gordon Hodson, Megan Earle, Maureen A. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


As a function of their race, gender, class, and other social categories, long-standing privileges in social hierarchies have been afforded to some groups of people to the detriment of others. Recently, scholars have made considerable headway studying the social gains made by disadvantaged groups, including a better understanding of how relatively advantaged groups (e.g., White people; men) often pushback against and resist shifts in group-based power or prestige. The present body of work curates social psychological perspectives on the sense of privilege lost, the belief that one’s dominant group is losing ground to other groups. Here, we outline several dominant themes emerging from scholars in this field, including a better understanding of the psychological nature of group-based threat reactions, and for whom such demographic/power changes are deemed troubling, thus triggering pushback. We make recommendations for shaping future research on the perceived loss of group status and power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-641
Number of pages17
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • demographic change
  • power
  • privilege
  • racism
  • sexism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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