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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Social identity theory extended: A SITE map for understanding intergroup relations

This project extends work on the social identity approach to intergroup relations within a new integrative framework: social identity theory extended (SITE).

Social identity theory is the most established and impactful approach to the study of intergroup relations in social psychology. The proposal integrates three extensions of the social identity approach developed by the applicant. These address the three "C’s" of commitment, content and communicative context associated with social identity and intergroup behaviour. These three extensions have been developed largely in isolation over the last 20 years.

The current proposal will integrate them within a single program of research, producing a comprehensive integrative theoretical framework that exploits the synergy of their combinations.

This research will investigate how the expression of emotions may vary as a function of:

  1. whether the audience is ingroup or outgroup,
  2. contextual factors (eg, power derived form the presence of others),
  3. the nature of the emotion evoked (eg, anger, guilt, schadenfreude), and
  4. the degree of identification with the group.

This framework provides a potentially powerful model to account for the diverse character of intergroup behaviour, the intense and extreme forms it can take, and when and why intergroup conflicts are likely to escalate.

Further information

Project contact: Professor Russell Spears

ESRC contact: Joanne Cunningham