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Social Identity And Intergroup Relations

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The best example of a groups’ conflict that I encountered would be a conflict between residents of Moscow and residents from other cities in Russia, in particular, from small town and villages. Moscow is the capital; while it is not uncommon for people from large cities and from smaller ones to have some prejudice towards one another, there are some social and economical particularities in Russian cities that increase the conflict. Moscow is located in the European part of the Russia and its geographical location affects individuals’ incomes. There are more trading, more various job opportunities. Those differences breed stereotypes about both residents and non-residents of the capital. People in Moscow are described as rude and impertinent;…show more content…
For example, when one of my friends dated someone who was not born in the capital, her parents were prejudiced against her boyfriend purely because he was an outsider. «All of them just want to date or marry you for an apartment and money»

Social identity theory was proposed by Turnel and Tajfel in order to explain how an individual develops social identity and how social identity is connected with intergroup relations. Tajfel (1974) distinguished personal identity and social identity. He defined social identity as emotionally meaningful aspects of an individual’s self that comes from belonging to a social group. Tajfel have divided the process of developing social identify in three main stages: categorisation, identification and social comparison. Social categorisation is the assigning people into groups or categories. This process has two functions. First, it is a cognitive way to define and organise social surroundings. Individuals in the same social group are seen as sharing characteristics, traits, forms of behaviour which are different from others groups. It provides knowledge what to expect from a group. Secondly, it helps an individual to find his
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People are put into two categories: people who were born and/or have been living for a long period of time in Moscow and people who are not. As one individual can not be in two categories, he begins to identify himself as a resident of a certain city and it becomes a part of his social identity. There are characteristics that are attributed to each category such as «All Muscovites are rude». Those characteristics do not have be in terms of behaviour or personality traits. For example, when I was a child, I was repeatedly told, mostly by older generation, not to pronounce words in a certain way because «Only girls from the villages speak like that». It should be noted that people from Saint Petersburg are either put into the third category and said to be more intelligent as Saint Petersburg is considered to be the cultural capital of Russia, or assigned into the same category as people from Moscow, probably because of socioeconomic similarities to
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