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《Journal of Psychological Science》 2013-04
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Coping Strategies and Identity Management of Stereotype Threat of Rural-to-Urban Female Migrants

Guan Jian,Chai Minquan(Department of Social Psychology,Nankai University,Tianjin,300071)  
The stereotype threat has become one of the most widely studied topics in the past decade in social psychology. The concept of stereotype threat is a situational predicament where individuals are at risk,by dint of their actions or behaviors,of confirming negative stereotypes about their groups. It is the resulting sense that one might be judged or treated in terms of a negative stereotype. In 2003, Steele and Aronson's seminal article on the subject was named a modern classic. Since the publication of Steele and Aronson's article, many articles have followed and documented the generalizability of the stereotype threat effect to a broad array of groups and domains of activity. Studies have observed the effect of stereotype threat on performance. In fact,very few studies have gone beyond performance to examine some of the other important consequences of stereotype threat. Our research has recognized this omission and started addressing it. The term "rural-to-urban migrants"in the Chinese context refers to farmers-turned-workers who used to be farmers but have now left the countryside to find jobs or a better life in the cities. Although the migrants play an indispensable role in the economic growth in China,they are frequently portrayed negatively by citizens. The migrants also face challenges in relation to attitudes of indigenous urban-dwellers. Rural-to-urban migrants often perceive or experience much discrimination because of their socioeconomic status,language and ethnicity. The general aim of our research was to investigate the effects and coping strategies of stereotype threat of rural-to-urban female migrants. In this study,we selected Tianjin,a major city located in the northeast China,as our study site. The sample consisted of124 rural-to-urban female migrants recruited using a snowballing technique. The present research,consisting of four co-relational studies, investigated the coping strategies and identity management of stereotype threat of rural-to-urban female migrants. Study1 began with the measure of identity fusion to explore Chinese female rural-to-urban participants' city identity and country identity. The results indicated that female participants' city identity was significantly lower the identity of rural in baseline. Study 2 used the measure of stereotype threat and measure of impression management to test coping strategies and identity management. It showed when facing the stereotype threat of city identity,the city identity of participants who had high impression management had no significant improvement,but the rural identity had a significant decline,otherwise both of them are not significant in low impression management. In Study 3,we used the measure of extreme behavior. The results found that participants of high city identity had more city identifying behaviors than low city identity participants. Years of working in the cities and income influenced their city identity. And in Study 4, the measure of role model was adopted. The results showed that the city identity of the participants who receive deserving role model subscale improved significantly,and had a significant decline of their rural identity. Therefore,the results suggest that female migrant workers tend to use negative coping strategies to cope with city identity stereotype threat,and have a reasonable expectation of their self-identity when facing different types of role model.
【Fund】: 中央985高校基本科研业务经费专项基金项目(NKZXB1135);; 新世纪优秀人才支持计划(NCET-12-0290)的资助
【CateGory Index】: C913.68
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