Social identity theory

Describe your social identity you wish to focus on and share; explain how your social identity developed over your lifetime. Explain who were/are your mentors and models in forming this social identity. Do you see your identity as positive or negative? Does society see your identity as positive or negative? Justify your answer with specific examples. How is your social identify portrayed in mainstream media? Provide at least 3 specific examples.
Think about your social identity in various situations. When are you likely to behave in certain ways because of your identity? When is your behavior likely to be due to your identity? When is it unlikely to be so (e.g., is due instead to situational factors or other aspects of yourself)?
Identify: Based on your social identity, who is your in group? Provide examples of how your thoughts, feelings and/or behaviors is influenced when you are in the presence of your in group. Reflect: explain how your in group increases your self esteem. Identify: Who is your outgroup? Be specific. Provide examples of how your thoughts, feelings and/or behaviors is influenced when you are in the presence of your out group. In what way(s) have you implicitly or explicitly degraded an outgroup?
How does your identity influence your interactions with others? Think about the expectations you have and the expectancies others bring to the situation. To what extent does this stem from social structure? What kinds of things threaten your social identity?
According to this theory, threats to one self-esteem increase the need for in group favoritism and expressions of in group favoritism enhance one’s self-esteem. Provide an example of a time when you demonstrated in group favoritism. This will require you to think carefully, critically and honestly. It doesn’t make you a bad person if you demonstrated in group favoritism—the point is to make you aware of how you were feeling and to examine your motivation to practice in group favoritism.
Summarize the research study of Fein & Spencer (1997) from page 178 of your text. What did these researchers study and what were the results of the study? What conclusions could we draw about self esteem and one’s tendency to engage in negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors about a stereotyped group?
Describe two things that you learned or surprised you about social identity theory and your experiences in our social world. After engaging in this reflective lesson, how do you think your awareness of in groups and outgroup may change as a result of this exercise?

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