Case study social identity
The first is categorization.
If our self-esteem is to be maintained our group needs to compare favorably with other groups. Tajfel proposed that the groups e.
Social identity theory is built on three key cognitive components: social categorization, social identification, and social comparison. In a very similar way we categorize people including ourselves in order to understand the social environment.
In order to increase our self-image we enhance the status of the group to which we belong.
We define appropriate behavior by reference to the norms of groups we belong to, but you can only do this if you can tell who belongs to your group. This led to a series of studies that Tajfel and his colleagues conducted in the early s that are referred to as minimal-group studies.
Social identity theory tajfel and turner 1986 pdf
Despite the fact that their group membership was meaningless, however, the research showed that participants favored the group they were assigned to — their in-group — over the out-group, even if they received no personal benefits from their group membership and had no history with members of either group. Once we have categorized ourselves as part of a group and have identified with that group we then tend to compare that group with other groups. We see the group to which we belong the in-group as being different from the others the out-group , and members of the same group as being more similar than they are. Groups give us a sense of social identity: a sense of belonging to the social world. In-group favoritism can result in negative outcomes, from prejudice and stereotypes to institutional racism and sexism. These take place in a particular order. The central hypothesis of social identity theory is that group members of an in-group will seek to find negative aspects of an out-group, thus enhancing their self-image. If our self-esteem is to be maintained our group needs to compare favorably with other groups. The emotional investments people make in their group memberships results in their self-esteem being tied to the social standing of their in-groups. Tajfel proposed that the groups e. Again, it is crucial to remember in-groups are groups you identify with, and out-groups are ones that we don't identify with, and may discriminate against. Social identity theory states that the in-group will discriminate against the out-group to enhance their self-image. In-group favoritism can result in negative and discriminatory outcomes, but research demonstrates that in-group favoritism and out-group discrimination are distinct phenomena, and one does not necessarily predict the other.
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