Social Identity: An Introduction

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Social identity has been at the heart of European experimental social psychology for the past 25 years, and has been of growing interest in North America during the past decade where research in the field has expanded significantly. This text fills the need for an overview of recent developments in social identity theory, covering both theoretical and empirical work. It brings together material that would otherwise be hard for students to locate in one volume. This collection introduces a whole program of research, situating it within a larger theoretical framework. The editors have drawn together different strands of the program, revealing their common theoretical roots and highlighting recurring themes. The chapters cover a broad range of different topics and theoretical issues, including perceptions of self and others, communication and social influence, and the behavioral consequences of these social identity processes. The volume begins by introducing students to the original theoretical underpinnings of social identity (as developed by Tajfel and Turner in the mid 1970s). Subsequent chapters look at significant advances in both theory and empirical work since this time. The presentation of ongoing research against the background of established work enables the reader to gain insight into empirical directions and theoretical developments for the future.