El Pueblo Unido: Analyzing Group-based Activism

Corin Sue Ramos, University of Texas at El Paso


The United States is often known as The Land of the Free. This title, in large part, is reflective of our first constitutional amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech, assembly, and the right to petition the government. Throughout history, social activist groups of all backgrounds have exercised their right to speak, protest, and gather in the interest of their group. The psychological basis of what motivates someone to engage in or support collective efforts has been studied. Several theories including the politicization of one’s group identity, and the presence of others are discussed as predictors of collective action. The current research investigates how support for collective action is predicted by social facilitation, or the behavior change brought on by the mere presence of others. Latino individuals were primed with the threat of an outgroup, thereby politicizing Latinos’ group identity. I predicted that the simple act of being in the presence of another person, an ingroup or outgroup member, coupled with politicized identity would heighten a person’s support for collective action. Those who experienced threat while in the company of another Latino would report both higher politicized Latino identity and support for collective action. Results showed politicized identity predicted collective action following the threatening message. In post-hoc analyses social facilitation predicted collective action for those who identified as more liberal on social issues. This research comes at a time when people are actively protesting white supremacy, police violence, immigration reform plans, and political officials. This research reveals unique predictors of collective action.

Subject Area

Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Ramos, Corin Sue, "El Pueblo Unido: Analyzing Group-based Activism" (2018). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10846851.