How important is it for you to feel like you are a part of something strong and or extra ordinary like a national entity, a powerful company, a successful group, a unique team, a successful organization, en emblem, or even a network? What if it turns out to be a falsehood? To some, the concept of social identity is very important. This research paper will provide the key constructs of Social Identity Theory (SIT), the supporters to this theory, and the oppositions to this theory. In turn, the supporters and oppositions will be compared and contrasted. .
Social Identity Theory concerned both the psychological and sociological aspects of group behavior (Tajafel and Turner 1979). Tajafel observed the behaviors of individuals that join groups and activities that share the same opinions as the individuals. When involved where in different social situations, the individual develops emotions generating from the individuals' thoughts and feelings and proceeds on his/her "level of self" (Tajfel et al, 1986). Secondly, the individual has many "social identities." According to Hogg and Vaughan, "Social identity is the individual's self-concept derived from perceived membership of social groups" (Hogg and Vaughan, 2002). Ultimately, it is the individuals perceptions that helps them define who they are and how they fit, or relate, with other people. An aspect of SIT is the in-group out-group associations. When involved in the in-group, the individuals self esteem progresses. This progression is one of the three constructs in determining how significant the in-group is to the individual. First, the more highly an individual can identify himself/herself with the in-group, the more the individual would want to be a part of that in-group. As the differences among groups' increases, the importance of the favorable group increases. Finally, as the significance of the in-group increases the individual self esteem increases.