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Metatheory: Lessons from social identity research

By Dominic Abrams and Michael A. Hogg


The value of a metatheoretical perspective is illustrated using our work in the development of the social identity approach. A metatheory places specific research questions within a broader framework and encourages the integration of theorizing for a range of potentially disparate phenomena. It sets parameters for predictions by specific theories and contexts. Resistance to ideas and disputes among theorists often reflect differences in metatheories. However openness to debate and integration of concepts can turn these to advantage by posing new research questions. These issues are discussed with reference to European and North American perspectives on groups; theorizing about intergroup behavior motivation, and self-categorization; the connection between laboratory and real-world phenomena; and the linkage of intergroup and intragroup behavior

Topics: BF
Year: 2004
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