The Many Faces of SocialIdentity: Implications for Political Psychology

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Abstract

Social identity is a concept that has been invented and reinvented across the social and behavioral science disciplines to provide a critical link between the psychology of the individual and the structure and function of social groups. This paper reviews the various definitions of social identity as it is used in different theoretical frameworks, drawing distinctions among person-based identities, relational (role-based) identities, group-based identities, and collective identities. The implications of these different conceptualizations of social identity for political psychology are discussed, with a call for integrative theory that draws on all four definitions interactively.

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