chapter  12
20 Pages

Intragroup Relationships and Intergroup Comparisons as Two Sources of Group-Based Collectivism: Masaki Yuki


My personal understanding of social identity theory started with an episode that occurred in 1997, shortly after I joined Marilynn’s lab as a self-funded postdoc. Fresh from Japan, the “kingdom of collectivism,” I had arrived in Marilynn’s lab with the hope that social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979), the de facto standard theory of group processes then, would be useful in understanding group behavior in my culture. However, applying social identity theory to the Japanese group behavior I was familiar with did not come as easily as I had first thought. Marilynn largely disagreed nearly every time we engaged in discussion to the point that we were, oftentimes, at a complete loss as to what the other was talking about. As someone who had extensively studied group processes, it was shocking to find out that I really did not have a full understanding of the theory in its entirety.