service navigation

EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Call for Papers: Special issue on ‘Distancing from a stigmatised social identity: Underlying mechanisms and consequences’

13.05.2019, by Tina Keil in call for papers

European Journal of Social Psychology (EJSP)
Abstract deadline: June 6th, 2019

We are happy to announce a forthcoming special issue for the European Journal of Social Psychology (EJSP) on Distancing From A Stigmatized Social Identity: Underlying Mechanisms And Consequences. This special issue will be edited by Colette Van Laar, Jenny Veldman (University of Leuven, Belgium), Belle Derks, and Ruth van Veelen (Utrecht University, the Netherlands).


While blatant forms of discrimination are decreasing, many individuals still face discrimination on the basis of their group membership in more subtle and harder to recognize forms. For example, despite increasingly equal labor market participation, women and men face stigma in occupations traditionally dominated by the other gender. Despite often equal rights, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ people, and people with physical or mental disabilities face stigma in many areas of their day-to-day lives. As discrimination increasingly slips beneath the surface, inequality is increasingly perpetuated through more subtle cues and experiences. This also makes it more difficult to use 'classic' social identity coping strategies such as outgroup derogation or collective action to improve the position of one’s stigmatized ingroup. Instead, individual mobility coping responses where one distances the self from the stigmatized identity in order to better fit in become more likely. Such distancing responses are for example emphasizing one’s difference from the ingroup, one’s similarity to the high-status outgroup, or denying existence of bias against one’s ingroup (as in the Queen Bee phenomenon). But distancing can also occur through increased ingroup stereotyping, reduced ingroup concern, disidentification from the stigmatized ingroup, or hiding or concealing one’s stigmatized identity.

Potential contributions

Over de past 20 years, social-psychological research on how people cope with stigma by distancing themselves from a stigmatized identity has grown exponentially. With this special Issue we aim to bring together new and versatile research insights into the above-mentioned topics.

We invite contributions that, from a social-psychological perspective, contribute to one or more of the following research goals:

  • Identify the social contexts in which stigmatized individuals are most likely to distance themselves from the ingroup;
  • Provide new explanations as to why stigmatized individuals tend to distance from a stigmatized identity;
  • Provide insight into the consequences of distancing on outcomes at the level of the individual, the group, organizations and society at large;
  • Offer empirically-based knowledge on how to prevent distancing strategies (e.g., identity affirmation, safety, climate);
  • Test – conceptually and experimentally – alternative social identity strategies to deal with subtle stigma, that challenge the status quo and that have the potency to instigate social change.
  • With this call, we invite expressions of interest (see below for a detailed description of the procedure). After this initial round, we will select potential contributors to submit a full manuscript that will undergo peer review.

We are seeking original empirical and theoretical research articles (max. 10,000 words). Note that effective since February 1st, EJSP abolished short reports and single-study empirical papers are only considered in exceptional circumstances. Manuscripts should be submitted via the EJSP submission portal and should be prepared in accordance with the journal guidelines. When submitting a manuscript, please state that it is for consideration for inclusion in the special issue, and select the article type ‘special issue paper’. All manuscripts will undergo rigorous peer review and must meet the high standards of EJSP before being accepted for publication.

These standards include high levels of research transparency. We will expect authors to include a working link in the manuscript to openly available materials (i.e., all applied procedures, materials, measures) and to the data and codes needed to reproduce the reported result, or include a description in the manuscript why it was not feasible to provide such a link. Also, the sampling strategy (preferably including power analyses) and the rationale for any data exclusions should be described in detail. For more information see the recent EJSP Editorial and EJSP’s author guidelines.


  • June 6, 2019: Deadline for expressions of interest from potential contributors in form of a brief proposal (see below).
  • October 1, 2019: Manuscript submission deadline
  • December 1, 2019: First decisions regarding submitted manuscripts
  • January 31, 2020: Revised manuscript submission deadline

Submission of Expressions of Interest

To submit an expression of interest, please send in a single pdf-file (a) a tentative manuscript title, (b) the names and affiliations of authors, and (c) a brief proposal (400-600 words) of your planned contribution including a summary of research questions and their relevance to the special issue, participants including sampling details, methods, variables, and, if available, first results. The deadline for expressions of interest is June 6, 2019. Please submit your document to Jenny Veldman ( The Guest Editors will be happy to answer questions about the special issue’s scope and potential fit of a manuscript to the aims of the issue.

Authors who do not submit an expression of interest by June 6 may still submit a manuscript. However, in this case the Guest Editors encourage a brief initial enquiry and cannot guarantee full consideration of these submissions.