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Stephen Reicher, Russell Spears & S. Alexander Haslam

In: The SAGE Handbook of Identities

Chapter 3: The Social Identity Approach in Social Psychology

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The Social Identity Approach in Social Psychology
The social identity approach in social psychology

In this contribution we review a family of social psychological theories, most notably Social Identity Theory (SIT) and Self-categorization Theory (SCT), which together constitute what we refer to as the Social Identity Approach (SIA). These theories are linked by their concern with the processes that surround the way in which people define themselves as members of a social group which, here, is the meaning of the term ‘social identity’. At a conceptual level, this approach serves to transform the understanding of identity in psychology. It stresses the sociality of the construct in at least three ways. First, social identity is a relational term, defining who we are as a function of our ...

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