System justification theory (SJT) assumes that social identity theory (SIT) cannot fully account for system justification by members of low-status (disadvantaged) groups. Contrary to this claim, we provide several elaborations of SIT that explain when and why members of low-status groups show system justification independent from any separate system justification motive. According to the social identity model of system attitudes (SIMSA), the needs for social accuracy and a positively distinct social identity fully account for system justification by members of low-status groups. In the present article, we (a) explain SIMSA’s accounts of system justification, (b) develop associated hypotheses, (c) summarise evidence that supports each hypothesis, and (d) highlight issues to be addressed in future research. We conclude that SIMSA provides a more parsimonious explanation of system justification by the disadvantaged than SJT, because it does not refer to an additional separate system justification motive.
Rubin, M., Owuamalam, C. K., Spears, R., & Caricati, L. (in press). A social identity model of system attitudes (SIMSA): Multiple explanations of system justification by the disadvantaged that do not depend on a separate system justification motive. European Review of Social Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1080/10463283.2022.2046422