Non-Fiction Books:

Individuality and the Group

Advances in Social Identity



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Individuality and the Group
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Social identity research has transformed psychology and the social sciences. Developed around intergroup relations, perspectives on social identity have now been applied fruitfully to a diverse array of topics and domains, including health, organizations and management, culture, politics and group dynamics. In many of these new areas, the focus has been on groups, but also very much on the autonomous individual. This has been an exciting development, and has prompted a rethinking of the relationship between personal identity and social identity - the issue of individuality in the group. This book brings together an international selection of prominent researchers at the forefront of this development. They reflect on this issue of individuality in the group, and on how thinking about social identity has changed. Together, these chapters chart a key development in the field: how social identity perspectives inform understanding of cohesion, unity and collective action, but also how they help us understand individuality, agency, autonomy, disagreement, and diversity within groups. This text is valuable to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students studying social psychology where intergroup relations and group processes are a central component. Given its wider reach, however, it will also be of interest to those in cognate disciplines where social identity perspectives have application potential.

Author Biography

Tom Postmes is professor of Social Psychology. He completed his PhD at the University of Amsterdam, and was professor at the University of Exeter from 2004 to 2008. Postmes has won several international prizes, including research fellowships from the KNAW (1998) and the British ESRC (2003). His publications have appeared in renowned journals across multiple disciplines, such as psychology, communication and management. Postmes studies how people influence each other's ideas and behaviour. Even though people in the Western world like to see themselves as independent individuals, we continually conform to fashions, norms and social structures. This is apparent in many different forms of collective behavior: on the stock exchange, at work, during an old-fashioned demonstration or in a modern flashmob organized via Internet. In his research Postmes shows how everyday interactions can lead to such collective behavior. This is more than mere imitation: communication initiates the formation of new norms, values and social identities.
Release date NZ
April 25th, 2006
Edited by Jolanda Jetten Edited by Tom Postmes
Country of Publication
United States
SAGE Publications Inc
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