Causes And Consequences Of The Social Identity Theory

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The Social Identity Theory was created by Dr. Henri Tajfel, British Social psychologist, and Dr. John Turner, a graduate student of Dr. Tajfel, in 1979. Social identity is defined as an individual’s sense of self in relation to a group (McLeod, 2008). This psychological theory is based on the idea of discrimination between different groups; Dr. Tajfel and Dr. John Turner wanted to understand why and how this intergroup discrimination occurs. The life experiences of the theorists, components of the theory, and possible consequences of the theory contribute to how relatable this theory is to college students.
To understand the foundation that the Social Identity theory was built on, one must understand the life experiences of those who created the theory. Dr. Henri Tajfel was born in Polish- Jewish family on June 22, 1919. During his late childhood and early adulthood, Jews were despised by the Germans and approximately six million Jews were executed during the 1930s. During the Holocaust, his immediate family and closest friends were murdered by the Nazis. His life was spared, because he went to school at Sorbonne in Paris, France, where he became fluent in French. Dr. Tajfel pretended to be French male in the French Army. However, according to Vaughan (2017), he did become a “prison of war” in 1940 because of his assumed “French identity.” He would have been most likely killed if his true ethnicity was revealed. Nevertheless, these life experiences encouraged him to do
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