Outline Of Social Identity Theory

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Outline social identity theory and with reference to recent research critically evaluate the strategies individuals or groups might use to achieve a positive social identity. Social Identity Theory (SIT) is a relational term, defining who we are as a function of our similarities and differences with others. It is shared with others and provides a basis for shared social action and the meanings associated with any social identity are products of our collective history and present. Therefore Social identity is something that links us to the social world. In other words it provides the pivot between the individual and society and within its broad framework, social identity researchers have specified detailed processes that give practical insights into the ways that groups work in society. These include the nature of influence and persuasion, how leadership works and the nature of group stereotypes. The strength of the theory is in direct relationship to its diverse range of application however this is also the source of its weakness. This essay makes an appraisal of SIT by weighing up the strengths and limitations of the social identity theory, with studies supported. SIT is based on four main concepts , Social categorization in which there is a tendency to divide and therefore categorize individuals into ingroups (us) and outgroups (them). The category accentuation effect involve an exaggeration of intergroup differences and intragroup similarities that underestimates by
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