Putting the Past Into Action: How Historical Narratives Shape Collective Action Participation
Endorsement of certain historical narratives can either foster or impede action for social change. Surprisingly, little research in psychology has investigated the role of historical narratives in collective action participation. In this talk, I will integrate research and theory on historical narratives and collective action, specifying historical narratives’ impact on individual-level antecedents of collective action. Building on this, I will elaborate on new hypotheses about how different dimensions of historical narratives (e.g., historical trajectories, historical attributions, success versus defeat narratives) influence each antecedent of collective action and shape action choice. Then, I will present preliminary results from initial studies testing some of these hypotheses in the context of collective action in the social movements for racial justice and for women’s rights.