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'Sorry for Congo, let’s make amends' : Belgians’ ideological worldviews predict attitudes towards apology and reparation for its colonial past

Jasper Van Assche (UGent) , Arne Roets (UGent) , Tessa Haesevoets (UGent) and Masi Noor
Author
Organization
Abstract
In light of the recent steps Belgium has made towards reconciling with its colonial history in Congo (e.g., the King's letter of regret, and the removal of some colonial statues), we examined how-Belgians differ in their attitudes towards an official apology, towards (symbolic) reparations (e.g., renaming streets), and towards raising more awareness about the colonial past (e.g., more detailed information in-educational books) as a function of their ideological worldviews. We hypothesized that authoritarianism and group -dominance would negatively predict these outcome variables, while particularly-universal-diverse or-ientation and egalitarianism would predict them positively. We further hypothesized that these -relations would be-mediated by relevant intergroup emotions (i.e., group-based guilt, shame, and anger, and-especially-outgroup empathy). Path model analyses on a sample of 258 Flemish-speaking students provided-support for our predictions: (1) universal-diverse orientation was the strongest predictor of all intergroup-emotions, (2) empathy-and to a lesser extent group-based anger-were the strongest direct predictors of attitudes towards apologizing, reparation, and awareness, and (3) empathy was the most important mediator explaining the associations of universal-diverse and egalitarian orientations with the outcomes. We discuss the implications of our findings for the current debate regarding reconciliation between groups with a history of colonialism.
Keywords
Social Psychology, ideological worldviews, intergroup emotions, repair, apology, awareness, Belgium, Congo, SOCIAL-DOMINANCE ORIENTATION, RIGHT-WING AUTHORITARIANISM, GROUP-BASED GUILT, COLLECTIVE MEMORIES, EMOTIONAL-REACTIONS, PUBLIC APOLOGIES, SHAME, EMPATHY, REPRESENTATIONS, RECONCILIATION

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MLA
Van Assche, Jasper, et al. “‘Sorry for Congo, Let’s Make Amends’ : Belgians’ Ideological Worldviews Predict Attitudes towards Apology and Reparation for Its Colonial Past.” INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 34, no. 1, 2021, doi:10.5334/irsp.486.
APA
Van Assche, J., Roets, A., Haesevoets, T., & Noor, M. (2021). “Sorry for Congo, let’s make amends’ : Belgians” ideological worldviews predict attitudes towards apology and reparation for its colonial past. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 34(1). https://doi.org/10.5334/irsp.486
Chicago author-date
Van Assche, Jasper, Arne Roets, Tessa Haesevoets, and Masi Noor. 2021. “‘Sorry for Congo, Let’s Make Amends’ : Belgians’ Ideological Worldviews Predict Attitudes towards Apology and Reparation for Its Colonial Past.” INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 34 (1). https://doi.org/10.5334/irsp.486.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Assche, Jasper, Arne Roets, Tessa Haesevoets, and Masi Noor. 2021. “‘Sorry for Congo, Let’s Make Amends’ : Belgians’ Ideological Worldviews Predict Attitudes towards Apology and Reparation for Its Colonial Past.” INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 34 (1). doi:10.5334/irsp.486.
Vancouver
1.
Van Assche J, Roets A, Haesevoets T, Noor M. “Sorry for Congo, let’s make amends’ : Belgians” ideological worldviews predict attitudes towards apology and reparation for its colonial past. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. 2021;34(1).
IEEE
[1]
J. Van Assche, A. Roets, T. Haesevoets, and M. Noor, “‘Sorry for Congo, let’s make amends’ : Belgians’ ideological worldviews predict attitudes towards apology and reparation for its colonial past,” INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 34, no. 1, 2021.
@article{8745324,
  abstract     = {{In light of the recent steps Belgium has made towards reconciling with its colonial history in Congo (e.g., the King's letter of regret, and the removal of some colonial statues), we examined how-Belgians differ in their attitudes towards an official apology, towards (symbolic) reparations (e.g., renaming streets), and towards raising more awareness about the colonial past (e.g., more detailed information in-educational books) as a function of their ideological worldviews. We hypothesized that authoritarianism and group -dominance would negatively predict these outcome variables, while particularly-universal-diverse or-ientation and egalitarianism would predict them positively. We further hypothesized that these -relations would be-mediated by relevant intergroup emotions (i.e., group-based guilt, shame, and anger, and-especially-outgroup empathy). Path model analyses on a sample of 258 Flemish-speaking students provided-support for our predictions: (1) universal-diverse orientation was the strongest predictor of all intergroup-emotions, (2) empathy-and to a lesser extent group-based anger-were the strongest direct predictors of attitudes towards apologizing, reparation, and awareness, and (3) empathy was the most important mediator explaining the associations of universal-diverse and egalitarian orientations with the outcomes. We discuss the implications of our findings for the current debate regarding reconciliation between groups with a history of colonialism.}},
  articleno    = {{23}},
  author       = {{Van Assche, Jasper and Roets, Arne and Haesevoets, Tessa and Noor, Masi}},
  issn         = {{2397-8570}},
  journal      = {{INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY}},
  keywords     = {{Social Psychology,ideological worldviews,intergroup emotions,repair,apology,awareness,Belgium,Congo,SOCIAL-DOMINANCE ORIENTATION,RIGHT-WING AUTHORITARIANISM,GROUP-BASED GUILT,COLLECTIVE MEMORIES,EMOTIONAL-REACTIONS,PUBLIC APOLOGIES,SHAME,EMPATHY,REPRESENTATIONS,RECONCILIATION}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{13}},
  title        = {{'Sorry for Congo, let’s make amends' : Belgians’ ideological worldviews predict attitudes towards apology and reparation for its colonial past}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/irsp.486}},
  volume       = {{34}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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