An analysis of Social identity theory Essay

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This so leads me to the Social Identity Theory. Developed in 1979 by Tajfel and Turner, the theory was originally developed in order to understand the psychological analysis of intergroup struggle and favoritism.

In the Social Identity Theory, the ego is automatic in that it can take itself on as an object and can categorise, sort, or name itself in peculiar ways in relation to other societal classs or categorizations. This procedure is called self-categorisation in societal individuality theory. Through the procedure of self-categorisation, an individuality is formed ( Bauman, 2004 ) .

The theory suggests that societal classifications are perceived as fixed tools that sector, form, and direct the societal environment, and as a consequence many signifiers of societal action can be taken on by the person. But they do non merely systematize the societal universe ; they besides offer a system of way for self-reference: they generate and label the person ‘s topographic point in society. As a consequence societal groups allow their members to keep back an designation of themselves in societal footings. These designations are to really big extent relational and comparative, they define the person as similar to or different from, every bit good every bit, as better or worse than, members of other groups. It is from these definitions that we use the term societal individuality. With this limited construct of societal individuality in head, Tajfel and Turner continue to state our statement is based on the undermentioned premises ; ‘firstly, persons strive to keep or heighten their self-pride: they strive for a positive ego construct. Second, societal groups or classs and rank of them are associated with positive and negative value intensions. ‘ Hence, societal individuality may be positive or negative harmonizing to the ratings ( which tend to be socially consensual, either within or across groups ) of those groups that contribute to an person ‘s societal individuality.

Last, the rating of one ‘s ain group is determined with mention to specific other groups through societal comparings in footings of value-laden properties and features. Positively incompatible comparings between in-group and out-group green goods high prestigiousness ; negatively incompatible comparings between in-group and out-group consequence in low prestigiousness ( Tajfel & A ; Turner, 1979 ) .

Harmonizing to Bauman ( 2004 ) , ‘A societal group is a set of persons who hold a common societal designation or position themselves as members of the same societal class. ‘ Through a societal comparing procedure, individuals who are similar to the ego are categorized with the ego and are labelled the in-group ; individuals who differ from the ego are categorized as out-groups.

The societal classs in which persons place themselves are parts of a structured society and exist merely in relation to other contrasting classs ( for illustration, black vs. white ) ; each has more or less power, prestigiousness, position, and so on ( Hogg & A ; Abrams, 2008 ) . Further, these writers point out that the societal classs precede persons ; Persons are born into an already structured society. Once in society, people derive their individuality or sense of ego mostly from the societal classs to which they belong. Each individual, nevertheless, over the class of his or her personal history, is a member of a alone combination of societal classs ; hence the set of societal individualities doing up that individuals self construct is alone.

Human interaction ranges on a spectrum from being purely interpersonal on the one manus to strictly intergroup on the other ( Hornsey, 2008 ) . A strictly interpersonal interaction comprises of the public being wholly single with no consciousness of societal classs. A strictly intergroup interaction is one in which the populace act as representatives of their groups, besides when an person ‘s features and qualities are besieged by the saliency of their group rank. It has been argued that skiding from the interpersonal to the intergroup terminal of the spectrum consequences in displacements in how people see themselves and each other. ( Hornsey, 2008 )

From Tajfel and Turners earlier premises, some related theoretical rules can be derived. First and first, it is clear that persons attempt to carry through or to continue positive societal individuality. Second, positive societal individuality is based to a big extent on favorable comparings that can be made between the in-group and some relevant out-groups. Last, when societal individuality is unsatisfactory, persons will try either to go forth their bing group and fall in a more positive group or do their bing group more positively. The basic premise, so, is that force per unit areas to measure one ‘s group positively through in-group/out-group comparings lead societal groups to clearly put themselves apart from each other ( Tajfel & A ; Turner, 1979 )

Harmonizing to Tajfel and Turner ( 1979 ) , there are atleast three factors that ought to act upon intergroup differences in touchable societal state of affairss. They say that first and first ‘individuals must hold internalised their group rank as an facet of their self-concept: they must be subjectively identified with the relevant in-group. ‘

It is non sufficient that others identify themselves as a group, though joint definitions by others can go, in the long tally, one of the influential insouciant factors for a group ‘s self-definition. They carry on to state that secondly, ‘the societal state of affairs must be such as to let for intergroup comparings that enable the choice and rating of the relevant relational properties. ‘ However Tajfel ( 1959 ) does province that ‘not all between-group differences have appraising significance, and those that do vary from group to group. ‘ For case, Skin coloring material is seemingly a more outstanding property in the United States than in Hong Kong ( Moorland 1969 ) . Last, ‘in-groups do non compare themselves with every cognitively available out-group: the out-group must be perceived as a relevant comparing group. Similarity, propinquity, and situational saliency are among the variables that determine out-group comparison, and force per unit areas toward in-group peculiarity should increase as a map of this comparison. ‘ ( Tajfel & A ; Turner, 1979 ) Therefore, a group will merely be compared to another group depending on their position within their society and whether or non they are deserving any comparing.

One of the responses of the theory was the thought that people have a demand for positive societal individuality which requires them to set up a positively valued peculiarity for their ain group compared to other groups ( Turner & A ; Reynolds 2004 ) . This purpose for distinction is to keep or accomplish laterality over an out-group to some extent.

The Social Categorisation theory developed by Turner and co-workers after Tajfel ‘s decease in 1982, the theory grew from early societal individuality work, returning to the classification procedure that was considered cardinal to the Social Identity Theory. But instead than seeing interpersonal and intergroup activity as antonyms, the advocators of the Social Categorisation Theory characterised individuality as working on different degrees of comprehensiveness. The critical part of self classification theory is that it links societal classification to self construct. ‘The nucleus thought is that we categorise ourselves merely as we categorise others, and therefore we depersonalise ourselves. ‘ ( Hogg, 2004 )

The self classification began with the penetration that Tajfel ‘s sentiment of difference between interpersonal and intergroup public presentation could be described by a parallel and under-lying differentiation between personal and societal individuality ( Turner, 1982 ) . The basic thought was that self perceptual experience or ego construct varies between personal and societal individuality and that as one moves from specifying ego as an single individual to specifying ego in footings of societal individuality, group behaviour becomes possible and emerges ( Turner & A ; Reynolds, 2004 ) . Therefore, when a shared societal individuality is psychologically active or important there is a depersonalization of self perceptual experience such that people ‘s positions of their articulation and common similarities are enhanced. Furthermore, a cardinal point of Self-categorization theory which has been cardinal to the analysis of stereotyping and other group phenomena is that when we see ourselves as “ we ” and “ us ” in contrast to “ I ” and “ me ” , this is common and ordinary ego experience in which persons describe themselves in footings of others who exist outside of the ego and is hence non strictly personal Social individuality is a combined ego, non a “ looking-glass ” self – it is non an “ I ” as perceived by the group, but a “ we ” who are the group and who define ourselves for ourselves. ( Turner & A ; Onorato, 1999 )

Turner and co-workers ( DATE ) nominate three different degrees of self-categorisation that are of import to the self-concept: ‘the low-level class of the ego as human being ( or human individuality ) , the intermediate degree of the ego as a member of a societal in-group as defined against other groups of worlds ( societal individuality ) , and the low-level degree of personal self-categorisation based on interpersonal comparings ( personal individuality ) . ‘ ( Turner, 1999 )

Hornsey ( 2008 ) carries on stating, ‘one of the basiss of the Social Categorisation Theory is the impression of depersonalization. Advocates of the Social Categorisation theory argue that people cognitively represent their societal groups in footings of paradigms. When a class becomes outstanding, people come to see themselves and other class members less as persons and more as interchangeable examples of the group paradigm ‘ ( 208 book )

The group individuality non merely describes what it is to be a group member, but besides prescribes what kinds of attitudes, emotions and behaviors are appropriate in a given context. The impression of depersonalization was assumed to underpin a scope of group procedures such as coherence, influence, conformance and leading.

Turner ( 2005 ) see ‘s the classification procedure as the insouciant driver of power and influence. From this position he carries on to state, ’embodying the paradigm of the in-group is what maximises influence, influence is the footing of power, and power leads to command over resources. ‘ This is a reversal of the traditional attack to power, which suggests that control over valuable resources is what defines power, power allows for influence, and common influence leads to the formation of psychological groups. ( 211 book )

Hogg ( 2000 ) has elaborated on the function of group peculiarity in supplying societal significance, reasoning that, ‘many group processes – including designation, assimilation to norms, and intergroup bias – are partly underpinned by a demand to cut down one ‘s subjective uncertainness about what to state, make, believe, and experience. ‘ ( 215 book )

Social individuality can be a really of import facet of our self-concept. For illustration, Citrin, Wong and Duff ( 2001 ) describe a survey found that 46 per cent of Americans felt being an American, a societal individuality, was the most of import thing in their life.

Peoples frequently use limited perceptual cues to categorize other people. I.e. what person looks like, how they speak, what attitudes they express, and how they behave. Generally we foremost seek out classs that are readily accessible to us because we so frequently use them. Harmonizing to Hogg and Vaughan ( 2008 ) , ‘when a classification becomes psychologically outstanding, people ‘s perceptual experience of themselves and others become depersonalised. ‘ What this means is that people no longer see themselves or others as alone multidimensional individuals but every bit simple incarnations of the class paradigm.

The societal individuality attack, now one of the most important theories of group developments and intergroup dealingss globally, has redefined how we think about group mediated happenings and has extended its range good outside the restrictions of societal psychological science. ( Hornsey-205 )

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