Download The Person in Social Psychology (Psychology Focus) PDF

TitleThe Person in Social Psychology (Psychology Focus)
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size685.8 KB
Total Pages181
Table of Contents
                            Book Cover
Title
Copyright
Contents
1 The individual and the social psychology
2 The social origins of behaviour
3 Role-taking
4Groups and the social self
5 Representations and language
6 The person in social psychology
Glossary
References
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

‘Burr provides a clear introduction to a wide range of
interesting alternatives to experimental social psychology
. . . it was only when I reached the end of the book that
I realised how thorough she had been in going about the
business of undermining the foundations of mainstream
psychology.’

John L. Smith, Reader in Social Psychology,
University of Sunderland

Traditional social psychology assumes that the person has an
already-existing nature that then becomes subject to the influence
of social environment. The Person in Social Psychology challenges
this model, drawing on theories from micro-sociology and contem-
porary European social psychology to suggest a more ‘social’
re-framing of the person.

In this book Vivien Burr has provided a radical new agenda
for students of social psychology and sociology. Using concepts
familiar to the social psychologist such as norms, roles, demand
characteristics and labelling she argues for an understanding of
the person, where the social world is not a set of variables that
affect a pre-existing individual, but is instead the arena where the
person becomes formed.

Vivien Burr is a Principal Lecturer in Psychology at the University
of Huddersfield. Her previous publications include Gender and
Social Psychology (Routledge, 1998) and An Introduction to
Social Constructionism (Routledge, 1995).

111
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36

137

The Person in
Social Psychology

Page 90

7 9

C
h
a
p
te

r

4

I N C H A P T E R T H R E E , I A R G U E D that the kindof person one is and one’s sense of that per-
sonhood, one’s sense of self, is socially derived.
The chapter focused on role-taking and role-
making to illustrate this. In the present chapter I
want to continue with this argument, showing
how one’s identity, the sense of ‘who I am’, is
greatly dependent upon the groups and social cat-
egories of various kinds of which one is a member.
Such groups may be formal, such as clubs and
associations, or they may be kinship and friend-
ship networks, or sub-cultures. They may be
groups to which we have chosen to belong, cate-
gories of people to which we belong by virtue of
possessing some personal attribute, or groups
to which we aspire. And the identities conferred
on us by being a member of these groups may be
desired, welcomed or resisted by us. But the com-
mon factor uniting all these identities is that they

C h a p t e r 4

Groups
and the
social self

Page 91

are socially bestowed. They do not arise as a consequence of
psychological qualities residing within us but of social processes
operating between us and other people. In discussing these pro-
cesses, I will draw upon both ‘psychological’ social psychology as
well as the ‘sociological’ social psychology of symbolic inter-
actionism. Both of these approaches, in different ways, have
contributed to our understanding of the extraordinary power of
social groups to shape our personhood.

Identity and groups

The study of groups in the early days of social psychology focused
upon the fear that the group or crowd context could undermine
the rationality and morality of the individual. This was at the root
of Le Bon’s concept of ‘group mind’ (see Chapter 1) and informed
much of the later study of ‘social influence’. According to Parker
(1989) ‘The prospect of crowd phenomena seizing individual
minds haunted American social psychologists’ (p. 36) and ‘Opposi-
tion to the crowd and attempts to safeguard individual autonomy
were held together by the method of laboratory experimentation.
Such a method produced its own mechanistic caricature of the
rational individual . . .’ (p. 37). Parker sees F.H. Allport’s insistence
upon the pre-existing individual, whose ‘original nature’ was
merely modified by social factors that could be discovered by
experimentation, as partly fuelled by a fear that Le Bon may be
right and a consequent desire to prove him wrong. Le Bon’s theory
apparently arose from his witnessing terrifying episodes of crowd
behaviour at the time of the Paris Commune in 1871, and although
many aspects of his ‘group mind’ theory have since been discred-
ited (he claimed that the crowd member is reduced to the activities
of the spinal cord and is in a state of evolutionary regression) his
view that crowd members become anonymous and lose their
identity remained influential, for example in Zimbardo’s (1969)
concept of ‘deindividuation’. The flavour of the concept is evident
from the title of this work: ‘The human choice: individuation,
reason and order versus deindividuation, impulse and chaos’.

T H E P E R S O N I N S O C I A L P S Y C H O L O G Y

8 0

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
20
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Page 180

labelling 95, 99–103, 137, 141
language 19, 65–6, 115–26, 128
La Pière, R.T. 27
Le Bon, G. 11, 15, 36, 80–1
Lewin, K. 16, 114
‘looking-glass self’ (Cooley)

93–4
Luckmann, T. 145–6

McDougall, W. 12, 15
Maslow, A.H. 2, 144
Mead, G. 14–16, 19, 22, 59,

66–7, 90–4, 106, 109
Milgram, S. 16, 43–8, 56, 114
minimal group (Tajfel) 84, 88
Mischel, W. 26
Moscovici, S. 21, 41–2, 106–13,

151

narrative 139–40
normative influence 35
norms, social see social norms

obedience to authority 16,
43–8

objectification 110–12, 146
Orne, M.T. 31, 45–6, 60

peer pressure 34–43
personal construct psychology

21, 63, 138
planned behaviour, theory of

135
Potter, J. 21, 115–16, 118–19,

121–2
power relations 99–100
prejudice 27, 30

reasoned action, theory of 135
reference groups 88–91

‘Robber’s Cave’ studies 81–3
Rogers, C. 2, 144
role distancing 64
role-playing 55–78
roles, reciprocity of 67–9

self-fulfilling prophecies 95–9
self-presentation 72–8
semiology 116–17, 146
sexuality 124–5, 142
Sherif, M. 35, 37, 81–4
Shotter, J. 138–9
situation specificity 26
situations and behaviour 31–4,

60, 69–71, 75, 95, 108
Skinner, B.F. 2, 14, 144
social behaviourism (Mead)

19
social cognition 134
social comparisons 86, 88
social constructionism 21, 63,

123–30, 140–1, 144–5
social context of behaviour

25–54
social identity theory (Tajfel)

84–8
social influence 34–52, 80
social learning theory 26
social norms 34–7
social representations

(Moscovici) 21, 105–32,
143

social roles 55–78
social skills 76–7
speech act theory 116
Stanford Prison experiment

56–8, 60–2
stereotyping 86, 95, 98–9
structuration 147
subject positions 128, 141

I N D E X

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39 1 6 9

Page 181

symbolic interactionism 19, 22,
59, 64–78, 122–3, 137, 145

Tajfel, H. 16, 21, 84–6, 110
Thomas, W.I. 26–7, 95
Thorndike, E.L. 2
Triplett, N. 10, 134

Watson, J. 2, 13–14, 15, 17,
144

Wicker, A.W. 27, 135
Winnicott, D.W. 1
Wundt, W. 15, 17, 26

Zimbardo, P.G. 56–8, 61, 80

I N D E X

1 7 0

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
20
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Similer Documents