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Samuel L. Gaertner, John F. Dovidio & Melissa A. Houlette

In: The SAGE Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination

Chapter 32: Social Categorization

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Social Categorization
Social categorization
Abstract

This chapter examines the fundamental influences of social categorization and identity in intergroup relations, both in terms of creating intergroup conflict and in promoting more positive intergroup relations. First we review the influence that social categorization has on the ways that people think about, feel about, and act towards members of their own group (the ingroup) and other groups (outgroups). Then we discuss three influential category-based approaches for reducing intergroup biases: Decategorization, Mutual Intergroup Differentiation, and Recategorization. Each of these approaches has considerable empirical support. Finally, we consider the challenges and opportunities that these approaches present for future research and practical interventions.

Social Categorization

Human activity is rooted in interdependence. Group systems involving greater mutual cooperation have substantial survival advantages for individual group members ...

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