SSC 113 Social and Group Identities I
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What is Social Categorisation in Social Identity Theory?
- Mental categorization of our world into different social groups or categories
- Might be large or small
- Provides members with definition and evaluation of who they are and what what it entails e.g. appropriate behaviour
- Provides members with social identity
- Social identity motivated by self-enhancement and uncertainty reduction
- a) Strive for positive self-concept to enhance/maintain self-esteem
- b) Strive to reduce uncertainty
What is Social Comparision in Social Identity theory?
- Characteristics of own group most pronounced and significant when compared to perceived differences from other groups and the values and importance placed on these differences
- When comparing, members of powerful groups (those who possess resources/values deemed desirable by society) have positive social identities and vice versa
- Distinguish between in and outgroups
What are the coping strategies described in Social Identity Theory?
- Social mobility - belief that one can move up from lower social position to higher social position
- Social boundaries more fluid and flexible,permeable
- Social change - use when one believes that boundaries are permanent and fixed viewed as legitimate ,reevaulate the position of their own group .If not seen as legitimate,try to initiate action to alter the situation e.g strikes, trade union negotiation.
What is Self Categorisation Theory?
- Self Categorisation theory is a theory that deals with intragroup processes. It addresses the cognitve aspects of social identity salience i.e. it explains the mental mechanisms that go to explaining how different social identities take prominence and come to our mental forefront.
- SCT holds that behavior in a group depends on how one categorises the self at that moment.
- SCT describes how people define themselves at
- the group as well as individual levels
- SCT proposes that Individual’s behaviour
- depends on social-categorization
–Segment society and highlight ingroup similarities and outgroup differences
- •Self seen as individual or group member
- depending how salient individual or group membership is at that moment
- –Depends on whether the collective
- or individual level of self categorization is being activated
What are the two levels in Self Categorisation Theory?
- Individual level
- Highlights differences among group members
- Unique individuality within group made salient
- Think of self as different from other ingroup members
- Self still seen as part of group
- Collective level
- Highlights similarities among group members
- Group membership is made salient either by intent or by the situation
- Depersonalization occurs (refers to the process in which people see themselves as interchangable members of the group rather than unique individuals with individual differences)
- Self is seen as part of group
- Change from individual to social identity takes place
How individual identity is formed?
- Individual identity
- Successfully differentiate self from others
- Done by comparison
- Incorporation of different elements from different groups that we belong to
- Dependent on group membership as resource as well as a restriction
- Limits to what we can become based on norms and group boundaries
How are Group Identities formed?
- Group identity
- Developed via communication and interaction with relevant parties (group members and external parties)
- Group members develop sense of common concept of who they are and collective understanding of shared reality
- Social consensus forges ingroup behaviour
- Communication brings forth consensus and commonalities from the individuals that make up the group
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