chapter  7
Social identity, ideology and religion
Pages 28

Introduction As we have seen in Chapter 6 , being part of a group and deriving part of your identity from it also offer solidarity and security. And this sense of ‘belonging together’ also offers security inasmuch as the group you belong to provides a collective framework of interpretation to help you understand and explain the world around you. Imagine that you are a member of and identify strongly with a political party or a religious movement: this imbues you with a social identity founded in a sense of group belonging; in addition, the political party or movement also helps you to interpret reality. People who partly derive their sense of identity from their support for a football club will tend to feel solidarity with their fellow fans, and their own selfesteem will tend to grow when their team does well. In this case, however, the interpretative framework, although still present, plays less of an important role than in the case of a political party or religious movement. It might manifest itself by inciting a general view in the stands that the referee is not entirely impartial, say, or that an opposing player was offside when he scored a crucial goal, but that is about as far as it goes. The frameworks offered by a political party or religious movement, on the other hand, have a much wider application that extends beyond, in this case, the stadium and that can help to elucidate social reality in a general sense.