Social Identity Theories

By: Kayley, Hannah, and Hailee

The Looking Glass -Self Theory

Definition: People in our close environment serves as the "mirrors" that reflect images of ourselves.

Founder: Charles Horton Cooley

Elements: How we imagine we appear to others. How we image what judgments what people make on us. Imagining how people feel about us. Basing self-concepts based on our understanding of how others perceive us.

Marcia's Identity Theory

Definition: Identity is based on occupation in society

Founder: James Marcia


Identity Diffusion- when you have know idea what you want

Foreclosure- You have made commitments to your beliefs but you aren't sure in your decisions

Moratorium: You don't know what you want but you are looking for it

Identity Achievement- When you know what you want and know who you are

Social Identity Theory

Definition: A person's sense of who they are based on their group membership(s).

Founder: Henri Tajfel


Categorization- We when categorize objects in order to understand them and identify them.

Social Identification- When we adopt the identity of the group we have categorized ourselves as belonging to

Social Comparison- Once we identify ourselves with a group we tend to compare that group with other groups


All of these theories connect because in each one it talks about how we base our personalities and decisions on other people and things. "We form our self image as the reflections of the response and evaluations of others in our environment." (Isaksen, Page 1)

The looking glass theory deals with how others people identify you, the social identity theory talks about how you identify with other people, and Marcia's theory is on how you identify yourself.


How do we form and shape our identities?

We shape our identities based on the way other people perceive us, how we perceive other people, and how we perceive ourselves.

In a culture where we are bombarded with ideas and images of "what we should be", how does one form an identity that remains true and authentic for him/herself?

We form our identity based on our morals and beliefs. We also base it off of our hobbies. Lastly we base it off of our past mistakes.

Works Cited

- Goodfriend, Wind. "James Marcia's Identity Theory: Understanding Adolescents' Search    For Identity." Google Docs. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

- Isaksen, Joachin. "The Looking Glass Self: How our Self-Image is Shaped by
Society." Popular Social Science. Popular Social Science, 27 May 2013. Web.
9 Apr. 2015. <

- McLeod, Saul. "Social Identity Theory." Google Docs. N.p., 2008. Web. 9 Apr.

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