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Group Processes and Intergroup Relations ; 24(2):297-305, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1133497

ABSTRACT

In many countries, COVID-19 has amplified the health, economic and social inequities that motivate group-based collective action. We draw upon the SIRDE/IDEAS model of social change to explore how the pandemic might have affected complex reactions to social injustices. We argue that the virus elicits widespread negative emotions which are spread contagiously through social media due to increased social isolation caused by shelter-in-place directives. When an incident occurs which highlights systemic injustices, the prevailing negative emotional climate intensifies anger at these injustices as well as other emotions, which motivates participation in protest actions despite the obvious risk. We discuss how the pandemic might shape both normative and non-normative protests, including radical violent and destructive collective actions. We also discuss how separatism is being encouraged in some countries due to a lack of effective national leadership and speculate that this is partially the result of different patterns of social identification. © The Author(s) 2021.

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