Self and social Identity - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: SELF AND SOCIAL IDENTITY 1 Self and Social Identity Name Class Date Word Count 1576 Self and Social Identity Introduction The creation of the sense of self is a combination of interactions with others and the perceived feelings that come from those interactions…
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Download file to see previous pages In contrast, those groups that appear to have more advantages can also have an impact, although a negative impact, through the influence of relative deprivation. Because of the interactions of individual through groups and within groups, the individual identity and sense of self is defined by how those interactions create self-esteem. Social Psychology Social psychology is a discipline sub-group of psychology in which the ways in which people interact is examined. Schneider, Gruman and Coutts (2005) define social psychology as “the science that seeks to understand how people think about, feel about, relate to, and influence one another” (p. 2). In other words, the field of social psychology is about how people engage one another and the effects of those methods have on the psychological development of the individual As well, it looks at group dynamics and how interactions are created and their meaning. Stainton (2003) argues that it is possible that social psychologists should focus more on the qualitative than the quantitative elements that are more often associated with a strictly scientific approach. The nature of social psychology is that it best represented by discourses that are analyzed to understand the symbols and meanings that emerge. One of the problems that has emerged about the field is that it has been very ethnocentric and up until the 1970s women were not treated as people and not included in most of the discussion. An example of this is the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory that was only ever tested for male responses to the test. What is more odd is that although there is a portion that uses a scale that runs from masculine to feminine, this was not tested by looking at male and female subjects, but through testing male heterosexual soldiers to represent the male end and male homosexuals to represent the feminine answers (Stainton, 2003, p. 298). Therefore, the field has only just begun to study the full depth of human experience by including women in the last 40 years. In addition, the field has always studied the human condition from the Western white male perspective. Stainton (2003) writes that “Another of its prejudices has been its dressing up of social deprivation and inequality as a mere ‘variable’, and its incredible patronizing and pejorative treatment of people who do not conform to its liberal middle class values” (p. 296). Social psychology prejudices started with the inability for the Western scientific community to establish the idea that there was not one norm, but a whole series of norms that were defined by the people who were engaging in the behaviors they studied. The phrasing and words used to describe different cultures such as ‘savages’ created discourse that was not evenly examined. Therefore, the interesting phenomenon that comes from discussing the idea of self and the identity in relationship to social psychology is that not only are the inequities in the development of the social self by different types of people, but the way in which they have been discussed in the past has created even further issues with defining the idea of the self in context with social psychological inquiry. The development of theory and concepts in relationship to the self has a close connection to prejudices that exist both in the profession and outside of it and in the social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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