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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Postgraduate Course: The Social Psychology of Identities (PSYL11096)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will outline and discuss two theoretical approaches to the social psychological study of identities: the social identity approach and discursive psychology. Each approach will be illustrated with reference to empirical research.
Course description The course will cover in depth key areas of the social psychology of identity. One part of the course will examine the social psychology of identity represented by the work of social identity and self-categorization theorists using experimental methods and thematic analysis. The emphasis here will be on how social identities can be viewed as real-world factors that have a causal effect on behaviour, and what methodological tools are best to explore these. The other will examine the work of discursive psychologists using a broadly social constructionist approach. The emphasis here will be on how identities are developed, maintained and challenged in talk and text. The course will focus on a variety of different identities, including national, ethnic, gender and sexuality identities.

The classes will consist of a mixture of lectures, large and small group discussions, and presentations.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 3 (Sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 88 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay 100%
Feedback Throughout lectures there are group exercises and discussions which provide opportunities for feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. discuss recent advances in social identity theory and self-categorization theory
  2. discuss recent advances in the discursive tradition in identity research
  3. have a firm and critical appreciation of methodological issues pertaining to the experimental and discursive study of social identity
  4. have a critical appreciation of how these traditions have been applied to research on specific social identities
  5. demonstrate their awareness of the contrasting strengths of these two approaches to the study of identity
Reading List
Indicative reading:
Finn, M. & Henwood, K. (2009). Exploring masculinities within men's identificatory imaginings of first-time fatherhood. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 547-562.

Gibson, S. & Condor, S. (2009). State institutions and social identity: National representation in soldiers, and civilians' interview talk concerning military service. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 313-336.

Hogg, M. & Vaughan, G.M. (2013). Social Psychology (7th Edition). London: Pearson.

McKinlay, A. & McVittie, C. (2011). Identities in Context: Individuals and Discourse in Action. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

McKinlay, A. & McVittie, C. (2011). 'This is jist my life noo': Gender identities in a Scottish occupational community. Discourse & Society, 22 (2).

Pinto, I.R., and Marques, J.M., Levine, J.M. & Abrams, D. (2010). Membership Status and Subjective Group Dynamics: Who Triggers the Black Sheep Effect? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99 (1), 107-119.

Koc, Y., & Vignoles, V. (2016). Global identification predicts gay male identity integration and well-being among Turkish gay men. British Journal of Social Psychology, 55, 643-661.

Hassan, B. Vignoles, V., & Schwartz, S. (2018). Reconciling social norms with personal interests: Indigenous styles of identity formations among Pakistani youth. Emerging Adulthood.

Alfadhli, K., & Drury, J. (2018). The role of shared social identity in mutual support among refugees of conflict: An ethnographic study of Syrian refugees in Jordan. Journal of Community and Applied Psychology, 28, 142-155.

Grant, P., Bennett, M., & Abrams, D. (2017). Using the SIRDE model of social change to examine the vote of Scottish teenagers in the 2014 independence referendum. British Journal of Social Psychology, 56, 455-474.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry skills - e.g., analytical and critical thinking; knowledge integration across academic traditions; understanding of interplay between research and real-world settings; understanding of interplay between theoretical and methodological approaches.

Personal and intellectual autonomy - e.g., independent thinking; developing higher-order thinking and sound reasoning; self-awareness and reflection.

Personal effectiveness - e.g., acquiring skills for leading a group discussion; giving and receiving feedback in a way that maintains and builds relationships within a team.

Communication skills - e.g., engaging effectively in discussions
Keywordssocial psychology,social identity,experimental and discursive approaches
Course organiserDr Anne Templeton
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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