A social identity is the portion of an individual's self-concept derived from perceived membership in a relevant social group. As originally formulated by Henri Tajfel and John Turner in the 1970s and the 1980s, social identity theory introduced the concept of a social identity as a way in which to explain intergroup behaviour.
Social identity theory is best described as a theory that predicts certain intergroup behaviours on the basis of perceived group status differences, the perceived legitimacy and stability of those status differences, and the perceived ability to move from one group to another. This contrasts with occasions where the term "social identity theory" is used to refer to general theorizing about human social selves. Moreover, and although some researchers have treated it as such, social identity theory was never intended to be a general theory of social categorization. It was awareness of the limited scope of social identity theory that led John Turner and colleagues to develop a cousin theory in the form of self-categorization theory, which built on the insights of social identity theory to produce a more general account of self and group processes. The term social identity approach, or social identity perspective, is suggested for describing the joint contributions of both social identity theory and self-categorization theory....LESS
This volume brings together perspectives on social identity and peace psychology to explore the role that categorization plays in both conflict and peace-building. To do so, it draws leading scholars from across the world in a comprehensive exploration of social identity theory and its application to some of the world s most pressing problems, such as intrastate conflict, uprising in the middle east, the refugee crisis, global warming, racism and peace building. A crucial theme of the volume is that social identity theory affects all of us, no matter whether we are currently in a state of conflict or one further along in the peace process.The volume is organized into two sections. Section 1 focuses on the development of social identity theory. Grounded in the pioneering work of Dr. Henri Tajfel, section 1 provides the reader with a historical background of the theory, as well as its current developments. Then, section 2 brings together a series of country case studies focusing on issues of identity across five continents. This section enables cross-cultural comparisons in terms of methodology and findings, and encourages the reader to identify general applications of identity to the understanding of peace as well as applications that may be more relevant in specific contexts. Taken together, these two sections provide a contemporary and diverse account of the state of social identity research in conflict situations and peace psychology today.
It is evident that any account of peace requires an intricate understanding of identity both as a cause and consequence of conflict, as well as a potential resource to be harnessed in the promotion and maintenance of peace. Understanding Peace and Conflict Through Social Identity Theory: Contemporary Global Perspectives aims to help achieve such an understanding and as such is a valuable resource to those studying peace and conflict, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, public policy makers, and all those interested in the ways in which social identity impacts our world."