Social identity theory is a process that is responsible for forming a person’s identity with a social group and the different concepts, attitudes, and behaviors that are identified with a group. This theory has three processes, the first one is social categorization which is when a person themselves assigns them to different social categories to help them decide how they should be behaving. The second part is social identity. The social identity theory is where a person’s view of themselves as being a member of a particular category. The last element is social comparison. This is the where individuals compare themselves to other people to boost their
Defining identity can be complex and therefore we have to investigate the factors involved that make us who we are and how we are seen by others, collectively or individually. Social scientists have to consider the key elements which shape identity, the importance of social structures and agency involved. The differences and/or similarities between us are the focus that categorise and label us in society. Knowing who we are is important for many reasons including, social rights, obtaining a passport, housing, health, employment, marriage, and over all, being able to ascertain who we are, and belong.
Social Identity Theory states that individuals compartmentalize themselves and others by basis of group membership, and construct social identities to justify interpersonal relationships (Tajfel & Turner, 1979).
Ethnic identity is the sum total of group member feelings about those values, symbols, and common histories that identify them as a distinct group (Smith 1991). Development of ethnic identity is important because it helps one to come to terms with their ethnic membership as a prominent reference group and significant part of an individuals overall identity. Ethnic reference group refers to an individuals psychological relatedness to groups (Smith 1991). These reference groups help adolescents sense, reflect and see things from the point of their ethnic groups in which they actively participate or seek to participate.
As previously stated in this paper, forming cultural identity may be more complicated today than ever. However, it is a critical part of a total structure of collective and individual identity. Based on the text, models of ethnic and cultural identity have increased dramatically over the last few decades. Today, most ethnic groups are accepting the fact that the United States is the most ethically diverse place to live and to raise a
Social identity theory states that the ‘in-group’ will discriminate against the ‘out-group’ and show favouritism towards their group to boost their self-esteem. Tajfel also proposed that there are 3 mental processes involved in putting people in to the ‘us’ and ‘them’ groups: social categorisation (putting objects in order to understand them), social identification (adopting the identity of the group we categorised ourselves as belonging to) and social comparison (showing favouritism towards the ‘in group’ and hostility towards the ‘out group’; comparing them).
“We are not born knowing who we are or what our place is in the social landscape; we learn to be American or Japanese, male or female, husband or wife, or Amy, Richard, Micheal, Rachel, or Rebecca.” Our identities are constructed by this “social landscape”. The social construction of identity takes place by living life through first hand experiences and through certain social circumstances. Amartya Sen says,” Classification is certainely cheap, but identity is not. More interestingly, whether a particular classification can plausibly generate a sense of identity or not must depend on the social circumstances.” Identity is a complex matter but can be defined in simple terms. It is who you are. Your personality, the way you act in response to
Group members must build mutual respect for and trust and confidence in one another, so that “feel free to express opinions, test ideas, and ask for, or offer help when it is needed” (Smith, 1983).
Tajfel (1981) described ethnic identity as part of an individual’s self-concept developed from knowledge of membership in a cultural group and the value or emotional significance attached to that membership. Ethnic identity content has been defined as “the actual ethnic behaviors that individuals practice, along with their attitudes toward their ethnic group” (Phinney, 1993, p. 64). Charlesworth (2000) maintained ethnic identity development to be an essential human need that provided a sense of belonging and historical continuity and created a foundation on which to build a concept of self.
Society has played a dominant role for the personal identity of an individual based on where they are from or the culture they were raised with in. With an individual’s identity, one may encounter struggles or challenges. Based on where a person is from or their physical appearance, they may experience discrimination or prejudices in various forms and circumstances. In order to understand the basis of social identity, it is important to understand how social identities are formed and what they are, what social justice is and the process and goal for it to be achieved, and what the different types of oppressions are and where they can occur within society. Accordingly, social identity is made up of various components that may or may not result
For this paper, I will discuss the thoughts I had when doing this Identity Chest Assignment. This will include the thoughts I had for these topics: the social group membership that was easiest for me to identify, as well as the hardest for me to identify; the questions that arose when establishing the social group that I identify with; the social group membership that I am most aware of on a daily basis, as well as the group that I am least aware of; what surprised me about my overall profile; and lastly, what surprised me about my response to this assignment.
Now moving on to social identity, it is important because it is an ingredient for social discrimination. In order for people to discriminate they have to belong to a group. Social identity theory suggests that people "remain loyal when they feel that their organizations have same values and appreciate them" (Tyler, 1999, p. 235). However, social identity theory maintains that when people feel that their organization values and appreciates them, it is a sign of organizational respect for them or of their high status within the organization (Tyler). High status is likely to increase people's organizational commitment because it enhances their social identity (Tyler). Therefore, social identity is reflected in people's self-esteem (Chattopadhyay, 1999).
Conclusion: The study Demonstrated that people seek a positive social identity and that their social identity is affected by being a part of their group so that you are more positive towards anything that your own group represents.
In most case, identity is shaped by culture. Since culture is a set of ideals life practices, routines and attitudes set up by a certain community hence culture plays a major role in shaping the identity of an individual. An individual’s character and attributes can be because of their background. This is due to the set up that one has grown up (Dumas 19). People tend to learn more about their culture, and as they grow up it becomes part of them. They embrace the culture’s beliefs and tend to do things following the set routines. The aspect of following the set routine and beliefs play a significant part in shaping the identity of an individual.
Cultural identity is a part of the psychological self-concept that expresses an individual or group’s worldview and perceived cultural affiliations. The first step in finding a societal fit is to establish a cultural identity; this can be on an individual level and group level. Who am I? And where do I belong? These questions start to form in the human mind from an early age; it drives humans to explore their worldviews and how and where they fit in the world. Rosenfeld (1971) argued it is a deep-seated primal process that has ensured our continual survival. By finding others that think and act similarly we are offered some protection (Erickson, as cited in Carducci 2015). Erickson (as cited in Carducci, 2015) and Maslow (as cited in Mcleod 2007) argued that the need to belong is a basic building block of human development. Whatever the reason, the consensus is that humans have an intrinsic need to find a like-minded cultural group to belong to; this chosen affiliation is their cultural identity. A person may identify with more than one cultural