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A Tale of Two Theories: A Critical Comparison of Identity Theory with Social Identity Theory
Michael A. Hogg, Deborah J. Terry and Katherine M. White
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 255-269
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2787127
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Social identity, Identity theory, Social theories, Social psychology, Identity, Self, Psychology, Social behavior, Social structures, Social interaction
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Identity theory and social identity theory are two remarkably similar perspectives on the dynamic mediation of the socially constructed self between individual behavior and social structure. Yet there is almost no systematic communication between these two perspectivies; they occupy parallel but separate universes. This article describes both theories, summarizes their similarities, critically discusses their differences, and outlines some research directions. Against a background of metatheoretical similarity, we find marked differences in terms of 1) level of analysis, 2) the role of intergroup behavior, 3) the relationship between roles and groups, and 4) salience of social context and identity. Differences can be traced largely to the microsociological roots of identity theory and the psychological roots of social identity theory. Identity theory may be more effective in dealing with chronic identities and with interpersonal social interaction, while social identity theory may be more useful in exploring intergroup dimensions and in specifying the sociocognitive generative details of identity dynamics.
Social Psychology Quarterly © 1995 American Sociological Association