SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY Social Identity Theory Social identity is a person’s sense of who they are based on their group membership(s). Henri Tajfel(famous Polish social psychologist) in 1979 proposed that the groups (e.g. social class, family, football team etc.) which people belong to are an important source of pride and self-esteem. According to the theory there are two main types of groups where individual can participate. In-group (us) Out-group (them) ■ ■ Out groups refer to those groups with which individual does not identify himself. These are outside groups (Pakistan is an out group for Indians). The groups with which individual identifies himself are his/her ingroup (one’s family, one’s college are example of his/her in group). ■ In-group members have positive attitude towards their own group but they have negative attitudes towards their out-group. Examples of in- and out- groups ■ Social Class: Upper and Working Classes ■ Gender: Males and Females ■ Religion: Christianity and Islam ■ Politics: Democrats and Republicans There are three mental processes involved in evaluating others as “us” or “them”, which follow one another. These processes are: ■ Social Categorization - we categorize objects in order to understand them and identify them. ■ Social Identification - we adopt the identity of the group we have categorized ourselves as belonging to. ■ Social Comparison - once we have categorized ourselves as part of a group and have identified with that group we then tend to compare that group with other groups.