Social and Societal Identity and Stigma



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

The course examines identification with in-groups and its consequences. It pays special attention to situations in which identification with in-group holds negative consequences for societal status of the individuals. It discusses majority and minority groups’ acculturation strategies and the impact of these strategies on minority groups’ identities. The contexts of minority identities and multiple identities as well as their influence on psychological well-being and positive minority identities are also addressed.

Besides introducing survey methods, the course includes the symbolic interactionist approach to stigma and minority identity and the study of minority and majority identity constructions. The course is concluded with the investigation of the impact of negative affects – guilt and shame – related to the privileged status of in-group on intergroup relations and beliefs concerning the situation of minorities. Methods developed to strengthen minority identity and to reduce status differences are also introduced.

  • Demoulin, S.; Leyens, J-Ph., Dovidio, J.F. (Eds.) (2009). Intergroup Misunderstandings. Impact of Divergent Social Realities. Psychology Press.
  • Brown, R., Capozza, D. (Eds.) (2006). Social Identities. Motivational, Emotional and Cultural Influences. Psychology Press.
  • Heatherton, T.F., Klack, R.E.; Hebl, M.R., Hull, J.G. (Eds.) (2003). The Social Psychology of Stigma. The Guilford Press.
  • Swim, J.K., Stangor, Ch. Prejudice. The Target’s Perspective. (1998). Academic Press.
  • Eberhardt, J.L.; Fiske, S.F. (1998). Confronting Racism. The Problem and the Response. Sage.
  • Branscombe, N.R.; Doosje, B. (Eds.) (2004) Collective Guilt. International Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.