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.
Chapter 4: Using Collective Identities for Assimilation and Differentiation
Using Collective Identities for Assimilation and Differentiation
Humans are driven by a variety of needs, motives, and goals. Dating back to the early part of the twentieth century, researchers have attempted to understand human behavior by linking behavior to underlying motivations (e.g., Hull, 1943; Spence, 1956). In line with this tradition of examining human behavior within the framework of individual goals and motivations, researchers studying group behavior and intergroup relations from a social identity perspective (e.g., Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1986) recognized that multiple motives may operate in a group context. Behavior is driven not only by realistic concerns (e.g., conflicts over resources), but also by individuals' desire for positive social identity. In answer to ...