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Differently different?: – Changing the perception of ‘US & THEM’
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study uses a longitudinal case study approach to observe change in ‘US and THEM-thinking’. Its purpose is to increase awareness of identity processes among participants and to test if the Attitude-Behaviour-Context-Triangle (the ABC-triangle) may be a way to achieve that. The ABC-triangle is modified as an ‘identity-analysis tool’ rather than a ‘conflict-analysis tool’.               Aspects relating to recognition of multiple identity affiliations compared to singular-identity categorisation is of interest. The traditional identity theories suggest that high identity salience increase singular-identity categorisation and thereby increase positive emotions for ingroup and negative emotions for outgroup. This study is partly based on the social identity perspective but complements it with Thoits’ identity-accumulation hypothesis and Hogg’s uncertainty-identity theory. Hogg’s theory locates uncertainty reduction as a main contributor to singular-identity categorisation together with its’ implied negative consequences. Hogg’s solutions are located both in multiple identity affiliations, as do Thoits, and in perceived cognitive ability to deal with uncertainty. This study emphasises awareness of identity processes to be the single most important factor for decreasing negative views of ‘THEM’. Overlooked in the more dominant theories of this area, it finds that recognition of multiple identity affiliations influences the perceived singular-identity terms imposed by an ‘US and THEM-situation’. Thereby, challenging imposed identity-restrictions and perceived intergroup competition. Furthermore, it questions the theoretical importance given to identity salience in previous research and theories since high identity salience, in this case, does not equal a singular-identity categorisation or increase negative views of ‘others’. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 61 p.
Keyword [en]
US and THEM, social comparison, intergroup competition, ABC-triangle, multiple identity affiliations
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333164OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-333164DiVA: diva2:1155338
Educational program
Master Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-11-08 Created: 2017-11-07 Last updated: 2017-11-08Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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