The Fusion of individual and group levels: the case of political party supporters within extreme pro-group action process

Özdemir, Fatih
The current research aimed to rationalize the relations of opposition political parties' supporters with local in-group (supporters of the supported political party), extended in-group (T.C citizens) and three local out-groups (supporters of ruling party and other two opposition parties) in both individual and group levels using identity and deprivation theories, and answer the question of why people indicate extreme self-sacrificing behaviors for the sake of in-group members. To be more precise, this study (i) synthesized the literature on extreme pro-group actions, (ii) tested the fundamental assumptions of identity fusion theory in multi-political party context of Turkey for the first time, (iii) investigated the distinctiveness of identity fusion concept (connectedness and oneness of personal identity with group-based identity) from in-group identification (identification with group-based identity), and (iv) explored the indirect effects of identification and identity fusion with local in-group on the endorsement of extreme pro-group behaviors for the sake of local in-group and extended in-group members using the relative deprivation fusion, the familial ties with local in-group, the individual agency for local in-group, the perceived invulnerability of local in-group, and the identification and the identity fusion with extended in-group variables as mediators. In accordance with these purposes, the data were collected from three opposition parties’ supporters as Republican People's Party (CHP; N = 320), Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP; N = 215) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP; N = 150) which were represented in the parliament of Turkey via November-2015 parliamentary elections. The findings and mediational models supported the theoretical expectations of the study and reflected the perceived reality of the current political structure of Turkey and intra- / inter-political party relations. The fusion of individual and group levels (including the oneness of individual-based and group-based identities and deprivation processes) provided a better prediction to rationalize intra- / inter-group relations in comparison to separate levels. Literature and society need new and comprehensive perspectives in order to rationalize extreme self-sacrificing behaviors on the behalf of in-groups. In addition, the current relations between political parties in Turkey do not only influence the lives of people who live in Turkey but also shape the conditions and collaborations at the world stage. Therefore, the underlying process of extreme pro-group actions and identity and deprivation theories on the multi-political party context deserve further researches. .


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Citation Formats
F. Özdemir, “The Fusion of individual and group levels: the case of political party supporters within extreme pro-group action process,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2018.