Self-Categorization of Homosexuality

Topics: Homosexuality, Sexual orientation, Bisexuality Pages: 28 (6957 words) Published: March 31, 2013

|SSC 113e | | | |The Social Self | | | |(January 2013 Semester) | | | |TMA 01 | | | |Name: Angela Koh Sok Huang | | | |ID: S7143946A |

Question 1(a)

John Turner and colleagues (Oakes, Haslam & Turner, 1994; Turner

pioneered the self- categorization theory which encompassed the conceptualization

of individuality and the salience of group membership for their critical roles in the

formation and acquisition of social identities. They suggested that the core

component of the theory is the focus on intragroup processes and it is not limited in

scope related to social structure and intergroup relationships. It was created to

address the individual – group dilemma and cognitive aspects of social identity


The emphasized was on a collection of people who will act as a group in relation to

their feelings so that they have a sense of belonging to the same social category.

According to Turner and colleagues, group formation is seen as “an adaptive

social psychological process that makes social cohesion, cooperation and influence

possible” (Turner et al.,1987, p.40). Self-categorization theory comprised of namely

the individual and collective levels.

Based on the journal article , there was greater acceptance of homosexuality in

the Netherlands at the collective level especially through positive display of societal


In comparison, at the individual level, even though upon self-categorize, self

acceptance of homosexuality is deem as relatively low and it was apparent amongst

the younger homosexual group. Besides combating with the sexual label in the eyes

of the public, they have the desire to be perceived as ‘normal’ and strived for

constant reassurance of their ‘lost identity’.

As for the case study, it revolved around the Hong Kong's gay community who

fought for their rights for implementation of anti-discrimination laws to protect sexual

minorities at their workplace and to be given equal opportunities. From the angle of

collective level, the gay rights group were unified and their group membership was

made salient through formation of a coalition to push for new laws. There was a

consensus at the individual level that their voices need to be heard and that they

should have equal rights as the heterosexuals. In a nutshell, there was comparison

of the homosexuality mentioned in both pieces as highlighted by similarities in the

intragroup setting.

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