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Although our individual differences contain powerful opportunities for us to expand our worldview, such differences can also cause us to embrace social stereotypes that often exist beyond our conscious awareness. According to social identity theory (Tajfel, 1979), people are often given preferential treatment if they are perceived to be in the same in-group—a social bias that is referred to as in-group favoritism. Although the intention may be to include and not ostracize a person, this social bias can promote stereotypical assumptions that have an insidious, negative impact on social interactions, even interactions that involve a person’s acceptance within a group.
Tajfel, H. (1979). Individuals and groups in social psychology. British Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 18(2), 183–190. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8260.1979.tb00324.x
For this journal activity, you have been asked to lead a group discussion on the socio-psychological foundations of in-group favoritism. In your reflection, you will apply aspects of social identity theory to an authentic experience in which you consciously or unconsciously engaged in in-group favoritism. Using the Module Three Activity Template Word Document, respond to each of the following rubric criteria in 3 to 5 sentences:
Describe this experience and the ways in which it relates to in-group favoritism.
Describe how acceptance as a group member impacted your sense of self and identity.
Describe the ways in which this experience influenced you to conform to group norms.
Describe how this experience may have inadvertently promoted prejudice toward others.
Describe how this experience demonstrates the costs and benefits of social categorization.
Describe the ways in which stereotypical assumptions about a person’s race, ethnicity, or culture, even if not blatantly prejudiced, influence our worldview.
Describe the strengths and limitations of social identity theory as it applies to the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusivity.