Social Identity Theory

Social Identity Theory

A social identity is the portion of an individual's self-concept derived from perceived membership in a relevant social group. As originally formulated by Henri Tajfel and John Turner in the 1970s and the 1980s, social identity theory introduced the concept of a social identity as a way in which to explain intergroup behaviour.

Social identity theory is best described as a theory that predicts certain intergroup behaviours on the basis of perceived group status differences, the perceived legitimacy and stability of those status differences, and the perceived ability to move from one group to another. This contrasts with occasions where the term social identity theory is used to refer to general theorizing about human social selves. Moreover, and although some researchers have treated it as such, social identity theory was never intended to be a general theory of social categorization. It was awareness of the limited scope of social identity theory that led John Turner and colleagues to develop a cousin theory in the form of self-categorization theory, which built on the insights of social identity theory to produce a more general account of self and group processes. The term social identity approach, or social identity perspective, is suggested for describing the joint contributions of both social identity theory and self-categorization theory.

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... Explicitly contrasted against a social cohesion based definition for social groups is the social identity perspective, which draws on insights made in social identity ... Here, rather than defining a social group based on expressions of cohesive social relationships between individuals, the social identity model assumes that “psychological group membership has primarily a perceptual ... of a common category membership” and that a social group can be "usefully conceptualized as a number of individuals who have internalized the same social category membership as a ...
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Self-categorization Theory - Controversies - Motivation in The Theory
... Brewer and Brown describe self-categorization theory as a “version of social identity theory” that is heavily cognitive and is not attentive to many ... of commentary, counter that describing self-categorization theory as a replacement to social identity theory is an error, and that self-categorization theory was always intended to complement social ... concerns that are articulated in self-categorization theory ...

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