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Role identities versus social identities: Masculinity, femininity, instrumentality and communality

Authors

  • Agustin Echebarria Echabe

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    1. Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, The University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain
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Agustin Echebarria Echabe, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, The University of the Basque Country, Tolosa Avenue, 70, E-20009, San Sebastian, Spain. Email: pspeteta@ss.ehu.es

Abstract

Three studies were designed to prove that while instrumentality and communality are mainly dimensions related to role identities, and thus determined by occupational status, masculinity and femininity are social identities linked to gender. Some ideas are put forward as to the reasons that have led historically to the overlapping of role and gender identities. The studies showed that people differentiate communality/instrumentality and masculinity/femininity, perceiving the former as linked to professional status and the latter to gender membership. Finally, current representations of masculinity and femininity are explored.

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