Social Identity Theory

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Evaluation of Social Identity Theory

Henri Tajfel (1979) has founded the social identity theory based on four interrelated topics: Social Categorization
Social Identity
Social Comparison
Positive Distinctiveness

Social categorization is the filing of the certain type of people, which is usually expressed to individuals that are the similar to you as ‘us’ or to individuals who you see are different from what you think of yourself as ‘them’. When you observe at other people, you see the differences of how other people look and behave compared to how you usually behave and act during your daily life. Furthermore, you will categorize them as being ‘them’ as a word to describe either the significant or insignificant differences between people that are similar to you and people who are not similar to how you look or behave. For e.g. some people often think that they are ‘cool’ based on their own opinion, but when someone else is different they might be considered as being ‘uncool’.

Social identity looks mainly at the individual characteristics that determine who you actually are. It is solely based on what you do that defines you socially or in public, which makes people believe that this is your identity. Social Identity is not personal identity as there is no correspondence. Personal identity basically looks at what you do personally compared to social identity, which is solely about the individual characteristics that you represent in the eye of the public. You can be socially identified to be e.g. ‘a nerd’, because of your individual characteristics that seem to define you in resemblance to a nerd, for example, being knowledgeable or smart in terms of IQ or the way you dress or look. Or that someone is gay or a lesbian, because they act unusually strange resembling of how the opposite gender usually acts. Additionally, the way they dress that is unusual in the public’s eye, so they will be easily identified as being gay or a lesbian, e.g. a man...