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Summarise Two Theories Of Identity And Compare Their Usefulness For Explaining The Real World Issues Discussed In Chapter 1

665 words - 3 pages

Summarise two theories of identity and compare their usefulness for explaining the real world issues discussed in Chapter 1.

Social identity theory (SIT) is a theory designed to explain how a persons sense of who they are relates directly to the groups that they belong to. Henri Tajfel was a Holocaust survivor that wanted to understand relationships between groups and the processes that led to prejudice.This theory also identified that identity can be changed by switching groups and that identity is therefore socially dependant.

Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson was the first theorist to view identity as psychosocial; this meant that he recognised that both personal and social factors ...view middle of the document...

He also observed that others found it impossible to commit to adult roles during this time, which he categorised as an identity crisis. It was during this time when a person was experiencing an identity crisis, that Erikson suggested that adolescents may over identify with the group or clique that they are a part of (Phoenix, 2007).

All theories treat embodiment as an important key to identity. Embodiment suggests that bodies are physical and biological as well as social and psychological (Phoenix, 2007). Our bodies have an impact on how we regard ourselves, what we look like, how well or badly our bodies work, it all affects our identities. It is therefore not surprising that a physical impairment becomes part of a persons identity. It does not however, appear to inform us of how other able bodied people view disabled people. For example, whilst a disabled person may not list their disability as something that identifies them, comments from others regarding their disability especially over time, may...

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