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IDENTITY THEORY AND SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY

IDENTITY THEORY AND SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY,Peter J. Burke,Jan E. Stets

IDENTITY THEORY AND SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY   (Citations: 169)
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Abstract Identity theory and social identity theory have more points of overlap than differences in their understanding of the self. For this reason, we argue that the unification of these two theories is advisable in order to both avoid redundancies in theorizing about the self and to provide a uniform approach to the multifaceted nature of identities in terms of their bases, their processes, and their outcomes. In this paper, we discuss the similarities and differences between the two theories, and then offer a unified identity theory based on 21 theoretical definitions, assumptions, and heuristics. Following this, we demonstrate how the unified theory can be used to explain somewhat,anomalous,findings in two recent studies, one in the tradition of social identity theory and the other in the tradition of identity theory. 1 IDENTITY THEORY AND SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY Identity theory,began with work on social categorization (Tajfel 1978). Both are theories about the self with many overlapping concepts, but historically each has developed separate foci, agenda, and traditions of work (Hogg, Terry, and White 1995), and each generally has been uninformed,by the other. Hogg and his associates’ (1995) brief comparison of the two theories led them to suggest that, given their differences, it was inadvisable to attempt to integrate the two theories. They recommended, instead, pitting one theory against the other to establish which was better. We think that several misconceptions,of identity theory held by Hogg and his associates have led them to both exaggerate differences and overlook fundamental
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