Theories of reference group and revolution: general theoretical matrix of relative deprivation
Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta: Seriâ 18, Sociologiâ i Politologiâ
The article is an overview of the first stage in the development of relative deprivation theories during the 1940–1970s: theories of reference group and revolution. The concepts of "relative deprivation" and "reference group" appeared in 1949 and 1942, respectively. Further specification of reference group concept statements by H. Hyman, R. Merton, W. Runciman, R. Williams contributed to the formulation of relative deprivation theory. The definition of the forms of reference objects
... objects (individual, collective, social category), types of comparisons, essence and functional types of reference groups (comparative, normative, identification, and audience) allowed to describe types of relative deprivation, its essence, content (cognitive and affective), and also it's levels: individual and group. However, reference group theorists have also identified a lot of problematic issues requiring further scientific development. One such issue, problems of relative deprivation formation, is considered within the framework of the theories of revolution through the analysis of social changes. Within the theories of revolution of the 1960s–1970s two approaches of understanding the essence of relative deprivation have emerged: theories of frustrationaggression (T. Gurr, J. Davies, D. Lerner, I. and R. Feierabends) and status inconsistency (J. Urry, C. Johnson, E. Hoffer). Works of the adherents of the first approach have made it possible to expand the field of relative deprivation study, but also they have become the subject of wide criticism. Focusing on the reference group theory and problems of collective identity research J. Urry's approach was better integrated into the tradition of relative deprivation studying.