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Sociological Social Psychology

Definition

Although most social psychologists are psychologists working in psychology departments, an important minority are sociologists working in sociology departments. The two groups share an interest in many of the same research problems, but their approaches are distinct. Psychological social psychologists tend to focus on the single person, on how an individual's perceptions of a social situation affect how she or he thinks, feels, and behaves in that situation. Sociological social psychologists, however, tend to focus on the relationship between the individual and larger social systems (e.g., society). Beyond this general orientation, however, sociological social psychology consists of a diverse set of perspectives and theories. Most often, sociologists distinguish between two major variants of sociological social psychology—symbolic interactionism and social structure and personality—though an emerging third ...

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