Definition Of Social Identity Theory  

Social identity theory offers to explain how people end up developing a sense of belonging and membership when they become part of a particular group. Also, the theory helps us understand how intergroup discrimination works. The theory is an important part of social psychology.

Everyone living in a society is influenced to some extent by the social identity theory. The theory goes to explain how severe intergroup discrimination and competition can be that it can drive people to extreme acts, such as murder or rooting for legislation in order to marginalize other groups.

However, when it comes to social identity theory, there are many aspects that work simultaneously. Basically people tend to find groups as a way of building their self esteem, but just the membership of a group is not sufficient for this purpose. To further build self esteem, people to really believe that they are in the right kind of group and that the group is distinct from all other groups.

One aspect of social identity theory is categorization. It is a natural tendency in humans to categorize people. This can happen consciously or subconsciously. These categorization help a person develop his or her personal identity and at the same time, it creates a perception of other people's identities. Besides this, identifying yourself with a particular group and developing an ingroup mentality are other aspects of the theory.

It is quite possible for people to become members of many different groups. And, depending on which group they are with, their identity changes. For instance, if there is a doctor and he is gay, he will show his gay identity when he part of a gay group, but he will show doctor identity when he with doctors or other people from his profession.

Comparison is an important aspect of social identity theory. When people have become part of an ingroup, they tend to compare themselves with others, who are part of other groups. This basically is a way for people to make their group more superior to other groups. For example, take a nurse and a surgeon. When the surgeon compares himself to the nurse, he will feel more superior because he has more knowledge and skill compared to the nurse.

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Definition Of Social Identity Theory




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