Public discourse on current inequalities often invokes past injustice endured by minorities. This rhetoric also sometimes underlies contemporary equality policies. Drawing on social identity theory and the employment equity literature, we suggest that reminding people about past injustice against a disadvantaged group (e.g., women) can invoke social identity threat among advantaged group members (e.g., men) and undermine support for employment equity (EE) policies by fostering the belief that inequality no longer exists. We find support for our hypotheses in four studies examining Canadian (three studies) and American (one study) EE policies. Overall, we found that reminders of past injustice toward women undermined men’s support for an EE policy promoting women by heightening their denial of current gender discrimination. Supporting a social identity account, men’s responses were mediated by collective self-esteem, and were attenuated when threat was mitigated. Reminders of past injustice did not influence women’s support for the EE policy.
In this chapter, we explore ways in which affective experience and expression might moderate effects of gender on negotiation, particularly in masculine-stereotypic and male- dominated (MSMD) contexts. We argue that, in MSMD contexts (as compared to more gender- equitable situations), men are likely to have a more chronic experience of power than women and that such gender differences in actual, perceived, and felt power are likely to reinforce gender stereotypes favoring men in negotiation. We articulate a set of propositions about the potential effects of anger and anxiety—two power-linked affective states—on gender in negotiations in MSMD contexts. We consider implications for negotiators’ social and economic outcomes. In conclusion, we suggest practical considerations for managers in MSMD work environments.