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Journal Article

Intergroup Comparison versus Intragroup Relationships: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Social Identity Theory in North American and East Asian Cultural Contexts

Masaki Yuki
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 66, No. 2, Special Issue: Social Identity: Sociological and Social Psychological Perspectives (Jun., 2003), pp. 166-183
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1519846
Page Count: 18
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Intergroup Comparison versus Intragroup Relationships: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Social Identity Theory in North American and East Asian Cultural Contexts
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Abstract

A review of the theoretical and empirical literature suggests that social identity theory does not account well for collectivistic behaviors among East Asians. I hypothesize that the central theme of East Asian group behavior is cooperation within a group; this is represented cognitively as an interpersonal network among the members, with the emphasis on the relational self. Results of a survey of 122 Japanese and 126 American respondents largely supported this hypothesis. For Americans, in-group loyalty and identity with their small and large in-groups were correlated positively with perceived in-group homogeneity and in-group status. No such correlation was found for Japanese respondents, however. Instead, Japanese in-group loyalty and identity were predicted by respondents' knowledge of the relational structure within the group, knowledge of the individual differences between members of the group, and feelings of personal connectedness with in-group members. I discuss the meaningfulness of comparing group processes in different cultural contexts.

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