It has long been established that there is a linear and positive relationship between relative deprivation and prejudice. However, a recent experiment suggests that the converse of relative deprivation, relative gratification, may also be associated with prejudice (S. Guimond & M. Dambrun, 2002). Specifically, the evidence suggests that the usual test for a linear relationship between relative deprivation-gratification and prejudice might conceal the existence of a bilinear relationship. This function, labeled the V-curve hypothesis, predicts that both relative deprivation and relative gratification are associated with higher levels of prejudice. This hypothesis was tested with a representative sample of South Africans (N=1,600). Results provide strong support for the V-curve hypothesis. Furthermore, strength of ethnic identification emerged as a partial mediator for the effect of relative gratification on prejudice.
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