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Solidarity Not Homogeneity: Constructing a Superordinate Aboriginal Identity That Protects Subgroup Identities


Political Psychology

Published online on


--- - |2 Superordinate identities formed around shared oppression provide political and psychological resources for marginalized groups. However, superordinate identities can also threaten the identities of the subgroups they attempt to bring together. We examined how a superordinate identity was constructed to protect subgroup identities using data from 31 urban Aboriginal participants who strongly identified with both their subgroup (heritage cultures) and superordinate Aboriginal identities. Participants defined the superordinate Aboriginal identity as a fundamentally diverse category where no one subgroup was more representative of the wider category than others. Participants also put their respect for subgroup diversity into practice by regularly engaging with Aboriginal (subgroup) cultures other than their own. Finally, participants felt that representations of the superordinate Aboriginal category should prioritize local cultures. We discuss these findings in relation to research in social psychology on superordinate and subgroup identities, multiculturalism, and collective resistance and provide some suggestions for how this work may be extended. - Political Psychology, EarlyView.