Relative deprivation theory: An overview and conceptual critique

Iain Walker, Thomas F. Pettigrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

356 Citations (Scopus)


The theory of relative deprivation (RD) offers an instructive special case of Tajfel's CIC theory. Six focal issues characterize the current state of RD theory: (1) the egoistic–fraternalistic distinction, (2) measurement level, (3) the cognitive–affective distinction, (4) the absolute–relative distinction, (5) specification of the referent, and (6) specification of the compared dimensions. Each issue is discussed and possible resolutions suggested. 1984 The British Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-310
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1984
Externally publishedYes


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