The Dark Duo of Post-Colonial Ideology: A Model of Symbolic Exclusion and Historical Negation


  • Chris G. Sibley University of Auckland



Post-colonial nations experience a specific set of socio-structural conditions that foster a unique duo of ideologies. These are the ideology of Historical Recognition versus Negation (or HRN) and the ideology of Symbolic Projection versus Exclusion (or SPE). These ideologies operate in tandem to legitimize material and symbolic inequality in response to specific and contested aspects of post-colonial social structure and history. HRN is promoted by the dominant group to legitimize inequality in outcomes experienced by Indigenous peoples in post-colonial societies where historical injustice is objective fact (objective historical injustice). SPE is promoted by the dominant group to claim ownership of the national category in post-colonial societies where there is an inability to logically deny that Indigenous peoples "belong" to the nation (undeniable belongingness). I present the Post-Colonial Ideology Scale (PCIS-2D), which assesses these two distinct "dark" ideologies. Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analyses validated the factor structure of the PCIS-2D in undergraduate (N = 373; Study 1) and community (N = 447; Study 2) samples of New Zealand (NZ) citizens. The PCIS-2D evidenced good construct validity, as SPE and HRN predicted unique variance in voting preferences and social policy attitudes controlling for demographics, Big Five personality, and System Justification ideology (Study 2). These results indicate that HRN and SPE are distinct ideologies that explain unique variance in support for a range of social and political issues. At the systemic level, HRN and SPE form a joint ideological system that legitimates inequality in two critical social domains: one relating to resource allocations, the other relating to representation and ownership of the national category.


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