chapter  8
18 Pages

Social identity theory in cross-cultural perspective

WithPeter B. Smith, Karen M. Long

The development of research in social psychology over the past century can be seen as a continuing struggle between two perspectives. On the one hand there lies the priority that must be given to social context if we are to understand social behaviors. On the other hand there lies the ambition of social psychologists to follow scientific method. If one is to be a good scientist, one must either strip away the extraneous aspects of the process one wishes to study, or else find ways of holding them constant. From the point in history when Wilhelm Wundt published his numerous volumes of Volkerpsychologie to the present day, social context has from time to time been cast aside, only for others later to find it necessary to reinstall it within our theorizing.