Evaluate Social Identity Theory Making References to Relevant Studies.

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 478
  • Published : January 21, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Evaluate Social Identity Theory making references to relevant studies.

Social identity theory is designed by Tajfel and Turner (1979) to explain how it is that people develop a sense of membership and belonging in particular groups, and how the mechanics of intergroup discrimination. Several interconnected mechanisms are at work with social identity theory. The core idea is that people tend to seek out-group membership as an affirmation of self-esteem, but that membership in a group alone is not enough to build self-esteem. To feel more self esteem, people have to believe that they are in the right group, which creates the need for a positive distinction from other groups. There are three cognitive processes that are Social Categorisation, Social Identification and Social Comparison. Tajfel and his colleagues divided some schoolboys in to 2 different groups, they allocated them randomly into the groups but the participants thought that the groups were defined by their preferences to paintings. They had to give out points to the in-group and the out-group but were not allowed to give points to themselves. The participants would favour people in their group rather than the participants of the other group. In many cases the participants would sacrifice points for their group just to increase the difference between the groups. The participants would give 7 points to their own group and give the other group 1, although they could have given 13 to each group. This shows that you can be easily be put in a group for a minor thing and you would stick together and go against the other group and see them as the enemy without having any real reason.

Caroline Howarth carried out the second research. The participants all lived in the Brixton area, which was seen as a poor and violent place and also where a lot of black people were thought to have lived there and were thought of being the main cause of violence. Within the first set of focus groups (total of...
tracking img