Collective Effervescence, Self-Transcendence, and Gender Differences in Social Well-Being During 8 March Demonstrations

Frontiers in Psychology 11 (2020)
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8 March, now known as International Women’s Day, is a day for feminist claims where demonstrations are organized in over 150 countries, with the participation of millions of women all around the world. These demonstrations can be viewed as collective rituals and thus focus attention on the processes that facilitate different psychosocial effects. This work aims to explore the mechanisms involved in participation in the demonstrations of 8 March 2020, collective and ritualized feminist actions, and their correlates associated with personal well-being and collective well-being, collective efficacy and collective growth, and behavioral intention to support the fight for women’s rights. To this end, a cross-cultural study was conducted with the participation of 2,854 people from countries in Latin America and Europe, with a retrospective correlational cross-sectional design and a convenience sample. Participants were divided between demonstration participants and non-demonstrators or followers who monitored participants through the media and social networks. Compared with non-demonstrators and with males, female and non-binary gender respondents had greater scores in mechanisms and criterion variables. Further random-effects model meta-analyses revealed that the perceived emotional synchrony was consistently associated with more proximal mechanisms, as well as with criterion variables. Finally, sequential moderation analyses showed that proposed mechanisms successfully mediated the effects of participation on every criterion variable. These results indicate that participation in 8M marches and demonstrations can be analyzed through the literature on collective rituals. As such, collective participation implies positive outcomes both individually and collectively, which are further reinforced through key psychological mechanisms, in line with a Durkheimian approach to collective rituals.



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Author Profiles

Marian Bilbao
Alberto Hurtado University