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Advances in Intergroup Communication


Edited By Howard Giles and Anne Maass

Advances in Intergroup Communication is a timely contribution to the field. It reflects developments in older, more established intergroup settings (e.g., gender, sexual orientation, organizations) whilst introducing newer studies such as the military and political parties. It also pays attention to emerging trends in new media and social networks and considers the developing field of neuroscience of communication.
The volume brings together authors from different geographical areas (North America, Europe, and Australia) and from different disciplines (particularly communication, linguistics, and psychology). Contributions are organized around five themes, corresponding to the five sections of the book: defining features and constraints; tools of intergroup communication; social groups in their context; intergroup communication in organizations; and future directions.
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Chapter Three: De-Dichotomizing Intergroup and Interpersonal Dynamics: Perspectives on Communication, Identity and Relationships


← 34 | 35 →CHAPTER THREE

De-Dichotomizing Intergroup and Interpersonal Dynamics

Perspectives on Communication, Identity and Relationships


At the heart of theorizing from the intergroup tradition is the idea that our communication both affects and reflects social identity (see Giles, 2012). Social identity theory (SIT: Tajfel & Turner, 1979) and the related self-categorization theory (SCT: Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987) highlight the idea that our sense of self extends beyond the personal and incorporates a dimension cognitively and affectively tied to social groups (for review, see Hornsey, 2008). From this social identity theoretical tradition, a distinction between personal and social aspects of self was laid out. Social identity stems from the affective and behavioral aspects of the social group for which we identity or for those groups for which others categorize us. There can be multiple social groups (e.g., religion, nationality, age) that dictate our perception of self and orientations toward others (Bodenhausen, 2010).

The salience and, thus, influence of a specific social identity can vary based on specific context (Macrae, Bodenhausen, & Milne, 1995). Personal identity, from this perspective, represents that aspect of self that exists absent of social collectives and corresponds to the idiosyncratic features of self. Moving from the cognitive to the communicative realm from this perspective, intergroup communication is based on group-based perceptions (e.g., stereotypes, schemas) stemming from the salience of different social group identities of the individuals in the interaction....

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