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Uncertainty-identity theory serves as our guiding theoretical framework to explore subjective uncertainty, especially uncertainty about self and identity, and the ways in…
Uncertainty-identity theory serves as our guiding theoretical framework to explore subjective uncertainty, especially uncertainty about self and identity, and the ways in which communication within groups provides valuable social identity information to group members as a means to manage subjective uncertainty.
We review and synthesize research in communication science and social identity theory, specifically uncertainty-identity theory, to compare diverse understandings of uncertainty and the identity-shaping function of communication within groups.
Uncertainty inherent in dyadic interactions has received extensive attention in communication science. However, the identity-defining function of communication that flows within and between groups as a means to resolving uncertainty about subjectively important matters has received little attention in both social psychology and communication science.
We explore how communication that flows from in-group sources (e.g., leaders) serves to shape a shared reality and identity for group members while providing a framework for self-definition. We propose an agenda for future research that would benefit from an articulation of the importance of communication in the shaping and management of identity-uncertainty.
Uncertainty arousing rhetoric by influential in-group sources, such as leaders and the media can have serious implications for intergroup relations, as uncertain individuals seek distinctive and tight-knit groups and autocratic leaders under conditions of heightened uncertainty. The role that communication plays in shaping clear and distinct identities as a panacea for identity-uncertainty has implications for the intragroup normative structure of the group and for intergroup relations.
This chapter describes a theory of intergroup leadership. Research on reducing prejudice and intergroup conflict identifies a number of conditions, such as empathy, shared…
This chapter describes a theory of intergroup leadership. Research on reducing prejudice and intergroup conflict identifies a number of conditions, such as empathy, shared goals, crossed categorization, recategorization, and intergroup contact, which can be beneficial. It also identifies social identity threat as a stumbling block – processes intended to reduce conflict often threaten people’s sense of having a unique and distinctive social identity and thus provoke a defensive reaction that sustains conflict. But social psychology says little about the role of group leadership in conflict resolution.
I summarize what we know from social psychology about conditions that attenuate intergroup conflict; then focus on social identity and influence processes to present a new theory of leadership across conflicting groups.
Prejudice and intergroup conflict reduction rests on effective messaging and influence, which is often a matter of intergroup leadership where a leader must bridge and integrate warring factions within a superordinate entity. The challenge of intergroup leadership is to construct an intergroup relational identity that focuses on collaboration and avoids identity threat. I describe a model of intergroup leadership and discuss strategies, such as identity rhetoric, boundary spanning and leadership coalition-building, that such leadership should adopt to effectively reconstruct social identity to reduce conflict and prejudice between groups.
This is a development and extension of a more narrowly focused theory of intergroup leadership in organizational contexts. It will be of value to social psychology, the behavioral and social sciences, and those seeking to reduce prejudice and intergroup conflict through leadership.
A social identity analysis, based on Hogg's (2000) uncertainty reduction theory, of the emergence and maintenance of ideological belief systems is presented. Uncertainty, particularly self-uncertainty, motivates identification with high-entitativity groups and behaviors that promote entitativity. Under more extreme uncertainty, identification is more pronounced and entitativity can be associated with orthodoxy, hierarchy and extremism, and with ideological belief systems. I develop and describe a social identity and uncertainty reduction analysis of ideology, and contextualize this in a brief discussion of the concept of ideology and in coverage of other contemporary social psychological treatments of ideology, such as social dominance theory, system justification theory, right-wing authoritarianism, belief in a just world, and the protestant work ethic.
The aim of this paper was to describe the aesthetics of self-realization as a way to overcome depersonalization, routinization, and linear temporality in the…
The aim of this paper was to describe the aesthetics of self-realization as a way to overcome depersonalization, routinization, and linear temporality in the organizational setting. Artists’ self-portraits (Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Dali) are used as metaphors of organizational life. In doing so, they could enable organizational members to reinvent modes of thinking, speaking, and behaving in the workplace. Philosophical novels (Kafka, Proust, and Murakami) could also unveil hidden aspects of human existence that are quite relevant for the organizational life. Artists’ self-portraits and philosophical novels could then help organizational members to avoid estranged depersonalization, while designing their own project of self-realization. Reinventing the real world of organizational life implies to emphasize both moral imagination (against routinization) and openness to all kinds of temporality (against linear temporality). Describing the aesthetics of self-realization could make organizational members more aware of their capacity to endorse radical humanism without destroying the organization itself.
The deadhead subculture – centered around the band Grateful Dead – has been active for 50+ years. Despite its longevity, academic work is sparse compared to other music…
The deadhead subculture – centered around the band Grateful Dead – has been active for 50+ years. Despite its longevity, academic work is sparse compared to other music subcultures. Given its durability and resilience, this subculture offers an opportunity to explore subcultural development and maintenance. I employ a contemporary, symbolic interactionist approach to trace the development of deadhead subculture and subcultural identity. Although identity is a basic concept in subculture research, it is not well defined: I suggest that the co-creation and maintenance of subcultural identity can be seen as a dialectic between collective identity and symbolic interactionist conceptions of individual role-identity.