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Abstract

It has been argued that the self-concept is divided into two sub-systems, one relating to personal and the other to social identities. The salience of these identities will depend upon the particular situation. How can the relationship between the individual's personal and social identities by conceptualized? To answer this question, Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher and Wetherell (1987) proposed a hierarchical system of self-categorization. At one level, social identities are determined though comparisons between groups, and at another level, personal identities are determined through comparisons between the self and other members of the ingroup. In the present study, adolescents described a number of self and others' identities in relevant social situations. Multidimensional scaling revealed three dimensions which subjects used to differentiate amongst the various identities. The first dimension separated peer group identities from ascribed social identities. The second dimension separated ingroups from outgroups and the third dimension differentiated personal identity from all other social stimuli. The latter dimensions therefore supported Turner et al's self-categorization model.