Group boundaries are used to determine who is included in a specific group and who is not. Such boundaries play a central role in human perceptions and behaviors. Sometimes group boundaries refer to concrete and objective criteria that determine group membership (as in the case of gender). Sometimes the crossing of group boundaries is a special event that is readily apparent and even ritually celebrated (as when new fraternity members are initiated, or a new national citizenship is awarded). More often, however, group boundaries are defined in a metaphoric or symbolic way. They indicate which individuals are most likely to experience a psychological sense of inclusion or exclusion in relation to a particular group.

Origins and Functions of Group Boundaries

Group boundaries are used to help define ...

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