The Roles of intergroup threat, social dominance orientation and right-wing authoritarianism in predicting Turks’ prejudice toward Kurds

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2013
Balaban, Çiğdem Damla
The aim of the current thesis was to investigate the prejudice of Turks toward Kurds and to explore the possible role of the perceived threat in this prejudice. Kurds are the biggest ethnic minority in Turkey with a history of cultural oppression and assimilation. Opposing to Turkish governments’ policies toward themselves, the Kurdish movement in Turkey has been asserting the cultural and political rights of Kurdish citizens in Turkey since the 1970s and onwards and in 1980s and 1990s, Turkey witnessed an intense guerilla war between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK, Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan) and the Turkish armed forces. From the Turks’ point of view, the conflict stems from PKK’s perceived bad intentions targeting Turkey’s harmony and the assumed support for PKK from the foreign forces against Turkey’s unity. While this authoritarian perspective is highly prevalent among Turks in Turkey, more liberal policies toward Kurds and other minorities have been followed by the recent Turkish governments since the end of 1990s in order for Turkey’s accession to the European Union. More recently, peace negotiations have been taking place between the Turkish v government and the prominent Kurdish leaders and politicians within the last year. Under these transforming circumstances, Turks’ attitudes toward Kurds were studied within the frameworks of two prejudice-explaining theories: the Dual-Process Model and the Integrated Threat Theory. The dual process model ascribes two pathways both leading to prejudice but each characterised by different values and motivations. These pathways correspond to two widely-studied predictors of prejudice: right-wing-authoritarianism and social dominance orientation. The integrated threat theory on the other hand, emphasises the role of threat in out-group attitudes and categorises intergroup threat into four basic types. In the current study, these two theories were incorporated in a mediational model expecting that Turks’ attitudes toward Kurds would be predicted by RWA rather than SDO and among the four types of threat, the group-level ones would mediate the relationship between RWA and prejudice. The findings, as well as the contributions and limitations of the study, were discussed.

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Citation Formats
Ç. D. Balaban, “The Roles of intergroup threat, social dominance orientation and right-wing authoritarianism in predicting Turks’ prejudice toward Kurds,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.