This book brings together an international selection of prominent researchers at the forefront of this development. They reflect on the issue of individuality in the group and on how thinking about social identity has changed. Together, these chapters chart a key development in the field: how social identity perspectives inform understanding of cohesion, unity and collective action, but also how they help us understand individuality, agency, autonomy, disagreement, and diversity within groups.

On the Agency of Individuals and Groups: Lessons from the BBC Prison Study

On the agency of individuals and groups: Lessons from the bbc prison study
StephenReicher and S. AlexanderHaslam

Introduction: The History, Psychology and Politics of Agency in Groups

Social psychology is one of the social sciences that emerged in the nineteenth century, in response to the crisis of order provoked by industrialization. Where once the population lived in small villages, now they were increasingly concentrated in towns and cities. Where once they had been known to the social elite, now they were anonymous. The identifiable labourer had been absorbed into the ranks of unknown workers and had thereby become the stuff of political nightmares. Would the masses rise up and shatter the status quo? In striving ...

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