chapter  1
4 Pages

Individual Self, Relational Self, and Collective Self: Partners, Opponents, or Strangers?

The self-concept can be divided into two distinct forms: social identity and personal identity. Social identity is defined as the collective self, grounded in and associated with group membership and group behaviors, and organized around prototypes. Personal identity is the individual self, grounded in idiosyncratic traits and preferences and in close interpersonal relationships with specific other individuals, and associated with interpersonal behaviors. Group processes and collective self-definition largely have been viewed as additive consequences of individual or interpersonal processes. Collective selves are defined in terms of relevant in-group prototypes that are themselves firmly grounded in intergroup relations and comparisons. Self-categorization in terms of an in-group prototype depersonalizes self-conception and renders perception, cognition, affect, and behavior in-group prototypical. The apparent primacy of the individual or interpersonal self, at least in some societies, be a social representation which is grounded in collective identity-contingent cultural viewpoints and associated practices.