Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Haslam I 170
Def Social Identity/Tajfel: Tajfel famously defined social identity as ‘that part of the self-concept corresponding to our group membership’ (Tajfel 1978(1): 63). To become an identity, however, clearly implies some identification. Tajfel’s definition of social identity therefore continues ‘together with the value and emotional significance attached to that group membership’ (1978: 63). A further element was a social comparison process: understanding the meaning of our group involves a comparison with other relevant groups of which we are not members (facilitated by the social categorization process). To see the ingroup as ‘us’ implies a contrast with „them“.


1. Tajfel, H. (1978) ‘Social categorization, social identity and social comparison’, in H. Tajfel (ed.), Differentiation Between Social Groups. London: Academic Press. pp. 61–76.


Russell Spears and Sabine Otten,“Discrimination. Revisiting Tajfel’s minimal group studies“, in: Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam (eds.) 2017. Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Tajfel, Henri
Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017


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