Identity in Modern Society. A Social Psychological Perspective

  • ID: 2247946
  • Book
  • 244 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This book is an inquiry into identity in modern society. The inquiry starts from the social psychological premise that identity both results from interaction in the social world and in turn guides interaction in the social world. It builds on and incorporates insights from philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, cultural studies, anthropology and sociology.

The theoretical heart of the book is an integrative social psychological approach which revolves around the author s self–aspect model of identity (SAMI). The text reviews previous research guided by SAMI, but also further refines the model. In addition, it places particular emphasis on identity in the context of minority–majority relations, intercultural contact and conflict, and participation in collective action. The book concludes by identifying areas of identity worthy of future research.

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List of Figures.

List of Tables.

Foreword by John C. Turner.


1. Introduction.

Approaching Identity as a Scientific Concept.

Human Consciousness.

The Social Conditions of Human Existence.

A Brief Overview of Subsequent Chapters.


2. The Social Psychology of Identity: Sociological and Psychological Contributions.

Sociological Contributions.

Psychological Contributions.


3. Identity in Modern Society: An Integrative Approach.

Theoretical Background and Levels of Identity Analysis.

A Self–Aspect Model of Identity (SAMI).

Identity and (Post)Modernity.

Identity, Phenomenology and Accuracy.

Functions and Processes of Identity.


4. Antecedents of Individual and Collective Identity.

Person Variables.

Social Context Variables.

The Interplay of Individual and Collective Identities.


5. Identity in Minority–Majority Contexts.


Social Information Processing.


Intergroup Behaviour.


6. Identity in Intercultural Contact.

Models of Intergroup Contact.

Immigration, Identity and Social Integration.

Right–Wing Extremism and National Identity.

Cultural Differences and Racism: A Comment.


7. Identity, Mobilization and Participation.

Identity and Social Movement Participation.

Identity, Organizational Participation and Intragroup Co–operation.

Identity and Volunteerism.


8. Conclusions and Future Directions.

Identity and Action.

Identity and Power.


Author Index.

Subject Index

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"Provocative and persuasive, Bernd Simon′sIdentity in Modern Society addresses critical issues in understanding the nature of identity, building bridges between the experience in individual, social, societal and cultural contexts. The result is a theoretically sophisticated analysis, one that will likely shape the agenda for generations of scholarly inquiry on the antecedents and consequences of identity."Mark Snyder, McKnight Presidential Chair in Psychology, University of Minnesota

"An essential and landmark text for students and researchers alike. Beautifully crafted, eloquently argued, refreshing and provocative in all the best ways, it is testament to rare and masterful scholarship. Each chapter including Turner s foreword has something powerful and significant to say and makes the reader think. Every aspiring psychologist should read this book to appreciate the richness both of this topic and of social psychology as a whole." S. Alexander Haslam, Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology, University of Exeter

"In this engaging and thought provoking volume, Bernd Simon presents a multi–level, trans–disciplinary analysis of the importance of individual and collective identity, and their interrelationship, in a social world. Distinguished by its scope, depth and insight, this book draws on classic and contemporary research in social psychology and related disciplines to offer a new theoretical synthesis and to tackle issues of practical as well as conceptual importance." Jack Dovidio, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Colgate University

"There is a lot to like about this book. Perhaps most importantly it provides a thoughtful and wide ranging perspective on the concepts of self and identity. These ideas are then used as a framework within which to understand a series of important aspects of modern society, ranging from the problems of minority and majority groups in diverse societies to the roots of collective identity and collective action. This book will be of interest to a broad audience including both social psychologists and those concerned with a wide variety of current and emerging social issues. I recommend it to anyone seeking a comprehensive examination of psychological approaches to the study of identity." Tom Tyler, University Professor of Psychology, New York University

"Although written primarily within the academic social psychological community, this book is an accessible account of developments in the field as they reflect wider social concerns." Scientific and Medical Network Review, Spring 2004

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