chapter  13
Understanding social iden tity in educa tion: the modi fy ing role of perceived norms
ByLillian Smyth, Kenneth I. Mavor, Michael J. Platow, Diana M. Grace
Pages 17

This chapter discusses the modi fy ing effects that norms and group­ based social influ ence processes have on the role of social iden tity in educa tion. In partic u lar, we discuss the way norms and social iden tity apply to the role of social influ ence in determ in ing the learn ing approaches used by students. In simple terms, the work to be discussed draws together the emer ging liter at ure on social iden ti fic a tion and learn ing approaches (Bliuc, Ellis, Goodyear and Hendres, 2011a, 2011b; Platow, Mavor and Grace, 2013) and exist ing liter at ure on the self­ categor isa tion theory analyses of social influ ence (Turner, 1991). The first of these bodies of work is built mainly on two streams of work, led by Bliuc and Platow, respect ively (Bliuc et al., 2011a, 2011b; Platow et al., 2013). This work demon strates the predict ive value of discip line­ related social iden ti fic a tion in examin ing student learn ing approaches. These authors find a posit ive rela tion ship between stronger student discip line­ related social iden ti fic a tion and a more fruit ful approach to learn ing (see also Bliuc, Goodyear and Ellis, Chapter 12, this volume). Building on these analyses, we explore a dynamic, norm at ive concep tu al isa tion of student social iden tit ies to examine the norm at ive­ influ ence processes that determ ine the ways in which students approach learn ing. We propose an under stand ing of student self­ concept based on the use of a self­ categor isa tion theory (SCT) in which perceived norms modify the impact of social iden ti fic a tion on student beha viour (Turner, 1991).