This essay will explore how groups can influence people in positive and negative ways and how these groups help to establish people’s identities. It will firstly explain what brings people together in the first instance by their individual identities and what attracts people to one another generally because they share something in common. Secondly, how coming together as a group can have a positive effect on people in a sense that it promotes a feeling of belonging and finally, the negative effect a group can have on a person encouraging them to act and behave in ways which they may not have done so before.
Group cohesiveness is the force bringing group members together. The main factors which influence group cohesiveness are the similarities that people share. Theories have shown that if people share similar characteristics to one another it will have a positive effect promoting a feeling of closeness and a sense of self-belonging. The characteristics most commonly shared consist of age, gender, work, ethnicity, social class, values, nationality, religion, hobbies etc and will expectedly become the composition of the group.
Identity is a person’s conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliation. What is considered to be a person’s personality and characteristics and how others see them which in turn influences behaviour and how we see ourselves. Identity can be distinguished between personal identity such as individual qualities, personality and feelings and social identity being a broader sense of identity within group membership. The purpose of this essay will look at and concentrate more specifically on social identity and the social influences from within different groups.
Sharing a social identity with other people can promote a sense of belonging and raise self-esteem. It is a person’s sense of who they are...