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Identity Essay

986 words - 4 pages

All people have a particular idea of themselves. The idea of who they are and who they are not. The way people lead an everyday life within an environment and interactions with other human beings make them feel closer connected to some groups of people and different from others. How feeling similarity and difference in society affects ability to attain a positive sense of self and meaning are an important questions within psychology. Theory of social identity constructed by Tajfel and psychosocial theory of identity created by Erik Erikson are two of theories which give answer to this question.
Tajfel and Erikson(ref) defined identity as two dimensional, containing personal and social part. Both believed that to evolve identity people need to understand how they differ from others and how they are similar. Tajfel foccused on social part and Erikson on personal part.
Tajfel’s (ref) theory of social identity statues that being member of social groups is a major request for identity achievement.
Tajfel (1979) believed that people go through 3 stages while achieving their social identity. He thought Firstly people stereotype world into the specific social groups and categories of people according to similarities. Members of each group have certain features in common (for example race, preference in music, occupation etc) and are diverse from other group members. In next step people familiarize themselves with the norms of groups they think they belong to. This process leads to inner assurance of membership and adopting of social identity of the group. Self-esteem becomes attached to group status. In this stage people recognize group they are members of as improtnant and different and divide world into in group (us) and out group (them). Emotional bounding makes people want enhance status of in group which leads to increase of self-esteem. People tend to discriminate out group, because they are different and to present in group in the best possible way.
Tajfel used experimental method to study how strong is people’s bounding to group membership. He randomly divided students in groups telling them devision was made according to preference in art. Experiment showed that students felt inmediately identified with ingrouppers and cosider outgrouppers as concurrency. Tajfel explained that only knowing u are part of group without intention to be in group or gaining something is enough for people to feel diversity which leads to discriminating of outgroup and prioritizing ingroup in order to highlight group’s status. Tajfel showed how membership of group can make us see differences and get to know who we are and where we belong to by commiting to rules of group. The final stage is comparing own group with other ones. If there is chance of changing identity people tend to move from lower valuated to higher valuated group for example work position.
If there is no chance of changing identity due it was given...

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