Why do our identities sometimes become salient?

In class we have been discussing social identity theory, which explores the idea that everybody has many social identities that relate to our personal identity.  I believe  that certain social identities become more salient depending on the situation we are in , for example; last week during an IFP conference we were discussing women’s rights and the fact that we are still not completely treated as equals. I started to realise that when somebody said something against woman and about how maybe there is only so much we can do to treat them as equals I started to get offended. I believe this happens because when someone says something against the group we identify with (our in-groups) we start to feel like what they are saying is against us so we step up defend ourselves.

Another similar but, less serious example would be if someone said something against a tv franchise I like, such as FRIENDS , I feel personally criticised by them even though they are not actually criticising me. This often happens because we believe that our social groups are part of who we are so when somebody says anything against any of our social groups we feel that they are saying something about who we are which for no fault of ours offends us. I completely understand when somebody gets offended if another says something criticising their “in-groups”, it is part of our identity and when we have pride to be apart of that group and someone says something against it we feel as though a bit of our pride is diminished.


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1 Comment on Why do our identities sometimes become salient?

  1. she@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg
    September 26, 2017 at 6:49 am (5 years ago)

    Great links to IFP Priya – there is so much overlap with psychological theory and what you strive towards in IFP.


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