Social Categorisation and Social Construction Theories and Their Understanding of Identity.

Topics: Sociology, Group action, Social identity Pages: 7 (2067 words) Published: January 4, 2011
DSE212 – TMA 01

Part 1
Social categorisation and Social Construction theories and their understanding of identity. It is through social interactions that have put people to act and react implication to others. Due to the social interactions we learn what is acceptable and what is not. Over time these rules become internalised within us and eventually become an unconscious part of our lives and our identity. Social identity theory asserts that group membership creates in group self-categorisation and enhancement in ways that favour the in group at the expense of the out-group and associating with a group even under minimal circumstances is enough to create in group out-group hostility. I will explore the effects of the contact theory or intergroup behaviour. It is also the aim of this essay to explain what is meant by the term social construction and social categorisation and how these two theories have further to our understanding of identity. Social categorisation is viewed as a perception cognition or behaviour that is influenced by people's recognition that day and other are members of distinct social groups. Relations between social groups can have far reaching and persuasive effects on the behaviour of member of these groups, effects that go well and beyond situations of face-to-face intergroup encounters. Social construction his used to describe how we as humans understand how the world is conscripted in and through social relations there are many different ways of understanding the same issue, rather than they had been an objective reality. Our behaviour is regulated by guidelines, which make everyday life predictable and understandable causing us to behave in a certain way the way that is seen as the norm.

Housework provides a good example of the social construction being seen as the norm in Western societies many people thought that it was natural for women to be whipped rather than men to do all the housework. (Phoenix, 2002). It seemed natural because that was what usually happened and continued for as long as people remembered. The next sample of a construction was taken from natural because it had been the excepted pattern for a long time it wasn't until the feminist viewpoint argued for equality for women, that the idea was that it is not natural for women to do all the housework that another construction developed.

Tajfel devised an intriguing paradigm to exploring the effects of intergroup behaviour using minimal effects (Tajfel, 1982). Two random groups of children were made, but allegedly on the basis of their express preference for paintings by two different artists. The children only knew the group table in with the identity of out-group and fellow in group members concealed. The result showed the children strongly favoured their own group they adopted the in group favouritism strategy despite such minimal effects and how this was created on the basis of a flimsy criteria. The robust finding from hundreds of minimal group experiments conducted is that the mere fact of being categorised as the group members seems to be necessary to produce ethnocentrism and competitive intra group behaviour. Social identity phenomena are motivated by two underlying processes self enhancement and uncertainty reduction. One of the key premises of the social identity approach is that group stand in status and pressed each relation to one another some groups are simply more prestigious and higher status than other.

Jane Elliott, made a short movie called the eye of the storm, of a classroom demonstration in which he divided her class of very young children into those with blue and those with brown eyes. For one day the brown eyes, and then for one day the blue eyes were assigned inferior status, hence they were ridiculed, denied privileges. In a follow-up study of the students when they were 18, Elliot found that they reported themselves as being more tolerant of differences between groups and actively opposed...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Social Identity Theory Essay
  • Social Identity Theory Essay
  • Social Identity Theory Essay
  • Essay about Social Identity Theory
  • Social Identity Theory Essay
  • Social Identity Essay
  • Critically Evaluate Social Identity Theory Essay
  • Essay Writing Fashion's Role in the Construction of Social Identities

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free