The Place Makes the People: A Longitudinal Test of the Socialisation Effect of Hierarchy-Attenuating Occupations on Social Dominance Orientation

Zubielevitch, E. (University of Auckland), Sibley, C. G. (University of Auckland), Sengupta, N. K., (University of Kent), Osborne, D. (University of Auckland)

Although social dominance orientation (SDO) is posited to reflect a relatively stable preference for group-based hierarchies, people’s normative environments may alter their SDO. However, longitudinal research investigating this hypothesised socialisation effect has been notably absent from the literature. We address this oversight using longitudinal panel data from a large sample of New Zealand adults (N = 1, 657) who were employed in either hierarchy-enhancing (e.g., defence force) or hierarchy-attenuating (e.g., social workers) occupations. Cross-lagged panel analyses across two waves of data revealed that working in a hierarchy-attenuating occupation predicted relative decreases in SDO over time, but that SDO did not predict changes in occupation type. Our findings demonstrate the powerful influence of socialisation and suggest that the social norms of an occupation influence group-based ideologies. Implications and future research directions are discussed.


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Attitudes and Politics