Domaines de recherche du Groupe de recherche sur les relations intergroupes et l'identité sociale

Several areas are investigated by our group:

Minority leadership: The glass cliff phenomenon shows that when women or members of ethnic/immigrant groups reach positions of power and responsibility, this is more likely to happen in times of crisis and instability. We investigate the motivations and contexts that lead to such decisions. For example, we analyze the contexts in which female versus male, and White versus non-White candidates, are nominated to run for political elections in different countries. We also conduct experimental research investigating participant ideology (sexism, political orientation etc.) in relation to their leadership preferences for minority versus majority candidates in organizational and political scenarios.

Intergroup contact: The paradox of positive intergroup contact shows that on the one hand, positive encounters between minority and majority group members positively influence the quality of intergroup relations. On the other hand, positive contact can also undermine minority individuals’ intentions to confront inequality, for example by collective action, thereby reinforcing social hierarchies. We investigate how this latter tendency can be decreased or even reversed.

Social mobility: Upward and downward social mobility describes the movement of individuals from one social position to another, which may be better (up) or worse (down). We investigate how individuals cope with such moves when these imply simultaneous membership in a socially valued group and in a devalued group. For example,  women (low status by their gender) who become managers (high status by their profession) experience upward mobility, while individuals who become unemployed experience downward mobility. How do individuals relate to their social identities of contrasting social status? What attitudes do they express toward the different groups to which they belong?

Social change: Social norms are informal rules or guidelines of acceptable behaviors and opinions in a society. Different groups may adhere to different norms. When norms change, this may threaten an individual's identities. We are interested in how people with diverse ideologies respond to changes which suggest a move towards a more inclusive, egalitarian, or diverse society. For example, we investigate people's reactions to the introduction of female street names.


Projets FNS

  • The 'glass cliff' – Motives of precarious minority leadership (Financed by Swiss National Science Foundation 2019-2023, N° 100019_188934)
  • “Negotiating identities: Minority groups handling social status imporvements” (Financed by Swiss National Science Foundation 2014-2018, N° 100014_149197)

Autres financements:

Recherches doctorales en cours

  • 2021-ongoing Céline Castellino “L'utilisation de corps, l'objectification de soi et l'action collective”
  • 2020-ongoing Ruri Takizawa “Motives of Precarious Minority Leadership: A Challenge or a Sinking Ship?” (SNF project N° 100019_188934)
  • 2017-ongoing Nana Ofosu "Factors influencing the likelihood of recognizing and challenging social inequalities"


Mots clefs

Intergroup relations, Social identity, Social Status, Discrimination, Social mobility, Collective action, Social change, Social norms, Gender stereotypes, Gender and leadership, Glass cliff, Backlash, Queen bee