Whereas social dominance theory has historically been used to understand the dynamics of group-based hierarchy and oppression, it has seldom been used to understand the dynamics of social change toward greater equality. We review a growing body of research that takes seriously the psychology of individuals who are interested in group-based equality and hierarchy challenge – those lower (versus higher) in social dominance orientation (SDO). This emerging research documents that lower SDO individuals are more likely to support hierarchy-attenuating policies and collective action, and identifies underlying mechanisms (e.g. perceptions of injustice). Moreover, this research suggests that egalitarian ideology can help account for efforts to change the hierarchal status quo, even among high status group members who materially benefit from the extant hierarchy.
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