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 8: Culture, Social Identity and the Individual
Culture, Social Identity and the Individual
Introduction and Overview
Culture is a dynamic system of collectively held meanings and practices that are maintained and modified over time. Nevertheless, individuals who contribute to the maintenance of culture do not share all available cultural knowledge with everyone else. Culture is the sum of what various people share with others within a society with whom they also share common social identities. People with a common social identity may further share certain aspects of cultural knowledge, including beliefs about their social contexts (such as stereotypes and implicit assumptions), values, attitudes, social norms and practical skills, as part of their group life, in dealing with their common fate, or simply through sharing ...