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Keywords:

  • social identity theory;
  • system justification theory;
  • social dominance theory;
  • ingroup favoritism;
  • outgroup favoritism;
  • intergroup discrimination

The articles by Reicher (2004), Jost, Banaji, and Nosek (2004), and Sidanius, Pratto, van Laar, and Levin (2004) discuss the strengths and weaknesses of social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979), system justification theory (Jost & Banaji, 1994), and social dominance theory (Sidanius, 1993). The latter two theories grew out of a critique of social identity theory, but this critique relates more to deficiencies in social identity research than to deficiencies in the theory itself. More balanced and comprehensive social identity research is required in order to allow a fair assessment of the theory’s limitations. In addition, Reicher (2004) and Huddy (2004) are correct that only social identity theory offers the potential for explaining social change and social stability.