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Capitalism versus a new economic model: implicit and explicit attitudes of protesters and bankers

O'Shea, Brian (2015) Capitalism versus a new economic model: implicit and explicit attitudes of protesters and bankers. Social Movement Studies, 14 (3). pp. 311-330. ISSN 1474-2837

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14742837.2014.938732

Abstract

Why is it difficult to sustain collective action that challenges the political and economic status quo? To develop an answer to this central problem in the study of social movements, this paper investigates the possible role of cognitive mechanisms using the framework of System Justification Theory. It examines the explicit and implicit attitudes of London bankers and Occupy St. Paul's protesters towards capitalism and an alternative economic system (Resource Based Economy: RBE) using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure and questionnaires. As hypothesised, bankers were more likely than protesters to demonstrate positive attitudes towards conservative capitalistic worldviews/values on both explicit and implicit measures. Also as expected, protesters had more positive explicit attitudes towards the RBE than did bankers. However, implicit attitudes towards the RBE were neutral for both groups. The implicit capitalism measures correlated positively with the explicit Capitalism Semantic Differential Scales (SDS) and negatively with the RBE SDS. No correlations were found between the implicit RBE measures and any of the explicit SDSs. The central theoretical insight of this paper is that implicit attitudes play an important role in maintaining the status quo, and that cognitive factors may underpin the resilience of extant social, political and economic structures.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/
Additional Information: © 2015 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2014 11:13
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 02:37
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/58509

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