The school seminar series 2008 kicks off this Friday with a presentation by Professor Marilynn B Brewer, Ohio State University.
DATE: Friday, 7 March 2008
LOCATION: Room 302/303 McElwain, 3-4 pm followed by the usual festivities.
TITLE: Social Identity Complexity: Expanding the "We."
In a large and complex society, persons are differentiated or subdivided along many meaningful social dimensions, including gender and sexual orientation, life stage (e.g., student, worker, retiree), economic sector (e.g., technology, service, academics, professional), religion, political ideology, and recreational preferences. Each of these divisions provides a basis for shared identity and group membership that may become an important source of social identification. Further, most of these differentiations are cross-cutting in the sense that individuals may share a common ingroup membership on one dimension but belong to different categories on another dimension. Hence, having multiple group memberships has the potential to reduce the likelihood that ones social world can be reduced to a single ingroup-outgroup distinction. Social identity complexity (Roccas & Brewer, 2002) is a construct that refers to how individuals represent the interrelationships among their multiple group identities. I will review previous research on how social identity complexity contributes to tolerance and acceptance of diversity in the society as a whole and discuss recent research on the antecedents of social identity complexity.
Marilynn Brewer is currently Professor of Psychology and Eminent Scholar in Social Psychology at the Ohio State University. Her primary areas of research are the study of social identity, collective decision making, and intergroup relations and she is the author of numerous research articles and books in this area. Dr. Brewer was recipient of the 1996 Lewin Award from