Social Identity Theory And Social Categorisation Theory

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For many years, the study of prejudice has been the central focus of social psychology (Augoustinos et al 2014). There is a strong understanding that social relations are more often than not marked by conflict as a result of social groups maintaining conflicting interests and a desire to change the out groups beliefs, inevitably leading to conflict between the two (Batalha 2008). Whilst it is important to study prejudice as it is a persistent social problem, often which every individual will associate with (Augoustinos et al 2014) it is ultimately impossible to expect social psychologists to explain every prejudicial encounter, such as the event of The Holocaust (Augoustinos et al 2014). Nevertheless, social psychology has attempted to examine…show more content…
Moreover, social identity theory is proven to produce reliable findings which have been supported by many studies (Cuhadar and Dayton 2011) in explaining racial prejudice as an outcome of an individual identifying and favouring members of their own group and maintaining a discriminatory stance against the out-groups. Social identity theory argues that racially prejudice individuals aim to increase the distinction between their in- group and the out group (Blascovich et al 1997). It is further represented by the idea of optimal distinctiveness, which states that social identity is a result of the individual having a desire for inclusion within a group; it is the search for this optimal distinctiveness that underlies social identification within groups (Brewer 1996). Essentially, social identity theory can largely lead to an increase in aggressiveness, hostility and rejection within these groups who value themselves as higher and more important than the groups seen as a racial minority (Brown…show more content…
It remains important to understand that prejudice is largely understood by social psychologists as a social orientation either towards a group, or individuals who are associated with that group (Brown 2011). In spite of this research, it is still unclear whether prejudice does or does not create a social problem (Brown 2011). Similarly, it is still not clear whether these approaches are viable, but on some level, it is evident they work in explaining prejudicial behaviour (Park and Judd 2005). It is now important to focus on ways to reduce hostility and aggressive prejudice beliefs from occurring and thus in order to devise solutions, it is important to understand how strong the influence of in-group identification can be on the individual 's behavior (Brewer 1996). In saying that, evidence remains confident that intergroup bias and prejudice is an unavoidable repercussion of organising every individual within a social group (Park and Judd 2005) thus claiming that change would be an impossible
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