Development and validation of a scale of support for violence in the context of intergroup conflict (SVIC): The case of violence perpetrated by Mapuche people and the police in Chile

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Development and validation of a scale of support for violence in the context of intergroup conflict (SVIC): The case of violence perpetrated by Mapuche people and the police in Chile

International Journal of Intercultural Relations.

2016.

Authors:

Gerber, M.; Carvacho, H.; González, R.

Abstract:

We develop and validate a scale that measures support for violence in the context of an asymmetrical intergroup conflict between the Chilean state and the largest ethnic minority group in Chile, the Mapuche people: the scale of Support for Violence in an Intergroup Conflict (SVIC). The proposed scale has two dimensions that capture the perceived acceptability of violence carried out in both directions: support for violence carried out by radical Mapuche activists and support for violence carried out by the police in the name of the Chilean state. We validate the scale in a survey conducted using two independent samples: a sample of Mapuche (n1 = 199) and a sample of non-indigenous Chilean respondents (n2 = 195). We test measurement invariance of the scale and find evidence that it is a valid instrument across both samples. Furthermore, findings suggest that the scale has discriminant validity, i.e., it correlates weakly with aggressiveness; as well as convergent validity, i.e., support for violence carried out by Mapuche activists correlates positively with Mapuche identification and negatively with Chilean identification, and the reverse is true for support for violence carried out by the police. We finish by highlighting the importance of measuring support for violence in the context of an asymmetrical intergroup conflict considering violence carried out by the different parties involved in the conflict, as well as the importance of validating the scale considering samples of representatives of both parties.

Keywords:

Support for violence, Police use of force, Intergroup relations, Conflict, Mapuche people, Attitude measures