How do we categorize oneself ?

Topics: Psychology, Social psychology, Self Pages: 2 (664 words) Published: December 3, 2014
Social Psychology

Types of Self and Identity
How do we categorize oneself?

There are numerous ways to define our identity. During the course of this essay, I will analyse these methods in order to gain a better insight as to how we are able to define our identity and self. Social Psychologists (Tajfel and Turner, 1986; Hogg and Abrams, 1988) have long argued that there are two distinctive identity groups that help to define types of self. These two groups are social and personal identity. Social identity highlights the part of our self that has been derived from our membership within groups whereas personal identity refers to both idiosyncratic traits and habits and close personal relationships.

Human interaction is required to produce the types of self that enable us to categorize one another. Upon proposing the two distinctive identity group’s model, psychologists (Tajfel et al., 1986; Hogg et al., 1988) proposed the idea that there are two types of self. These were the Personal and Collective Self. The personal self is defined through one’s habits that are specific to each person whereas the collective self is defined through group attributes and behaviour whereby people may act differently within a group.

However, Brewer et al. (1996) did not adhere to this model and instead believed that there were three types of self. The types that they suggested were the individual, relational and collective self. The individual self is very much similar to the personal self in that it highlights personal traits. The collective self as shown in the two-self model shown above is split into two parts by Brewer et al. (1996). The relational self is formed through relationships formed with a maximum of 2 people such as the relationship between a mother and her child whereas the collective self is characterized by group relationships with a minimum of three people such as religion/race. Brewer et al. (1996) enhanced their model of self with the collective...

References: Abrams, D & Hogg, M.A. (1988). European Journal of Social Psychology p.325-334
Heine, S.J., & Lehman, D.R.(1997). The cultural construction of self-enhancement. An examination of group-serving biases. Journal of personality and social psychology.p.1268-1283
Markus, H.R & Kitayama, S. (1991) Culture and the Self: Implications for cognition, emotion and motivation. Psychological Review p.224-253
Tajfel, H., Billig, M.G., Bundy, R.P., & Flament, C.(1971).Social Categorization and intergroup behaviour, European journal of social psychology,p.149-178
(Textbook) In Martin, N.C., Carlson, R., N. & Buskist, W. Psychology (Coventry University 5TH Edition) p.630-635
(Textbook) In Rogers, S.W Social Psychology ( 2nd Edition ) p.279 -309 ( Social Selves and Social Identities) p.279-309
(Textbook) In Hogg, A.M. & Vaughan, M.G. Social Psychology ( 6th edition ) ( Self and Identity) p.111-147
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