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Collective Self

  • By: Michela Schröder-Abé & Astrid Schütz
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

The collective self consists of those aspects of the self that are based on memberships in social groups or categories. It refers to a perception of self as an interchangeable exemplar of some social category rather than a perception of self as a unique person. The collective self is based on impersonal bonds to others that are derived from the shared identification with a social group. Those bonds do not necessarily require close personal relationships between group members. The collective self-concept is composed of attributes that one shares with members of the group to which one belongs (the ingroup). That is, it includes those aspects of the self-concept that differentiate ingroup members from members of relevant outgroups. Commonalities with groups may be based on stable ...

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