Crowds and Identities: John Drury’s Research Group

Collective psychological empowerment

Collective action such as mass protest can change society. Such action may also impact upon the psychology of the protestors themselves. This research strand grew out of our studies of identity change in collective action. The findings suggest a link between identity, positive emotion and wellbeing among people involved in collective events. Specifically, field and experimental studies have shown the way that identity-congruence in mass activism can promote a positive enhanced sense of agency. Collaborators on this work include colleagues and research students in Greece, Sweden, and the Netherlands. 

For details of studies and results, see: 

Drury, J., Cocking, C., Beale, J., Hanson, C., & Rapley, F. (2005). The phenomenology of empowerment in collective action. British Journal of Social Psychology44(3), 309-328.

Drury, J., Evripidou, A., & Van Zomeren, M. (2015). Empowerment: The intersection of identity and power in collective action. In D. Sindic, M. Barreto, & R. Costa-Lopes (Eds.), Power and identity (pp. 94-116). Psychology Press. 

Drury, J., & Reicher, S. (1999). The intergroup dynamics of collective empowerment: Substantiating the social identity model of crowd behavior. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 2(4), 381-402. 

Drury, J., & Reicher, S. (2005). Explaining enduring empowerment: A comparative study of collective action and psychological outcomes. European Journal of Social Psychology, 35(1), 35-58.

Drury, J., & Reicher, S. (2009). Collective psychological empowerment as a model of social change: Researching crowds and power. Journal of Social Issues, 65(4), 707-725.  

Evripidou, A., & Drury, J. (2013). ‘This is the time of tension’: Collective action and subjective power in the Greek anti-austerity movement. Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, 1, 31-51. 

Further articles:

Collective action is good for you! One version of this article also included reference to the positive benefits of student occupations! Protesting is good for you, say psychologists.

Blog post: Egypt and identity politics.