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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: PSYM014 Module Title: SELF AND IDENTITY IN CONTEXT
Module Provider: Psychology Short Name: PS.M28
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: COYLE AG Dr (Psychology)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability


Assessment Pattern
Units of Assessment  
Percentage Weighting  
Essay 1 (maximum 2000 words) 50%  
Essay 2 (maximum 2000 words) 50%  
Module Overview



Module Aims

•    To provide students with an advanced understanding of the historical and philosophical background of social psychological theories of self and identity
•    To provide students with an advanced understanding of current developments in theories of identity and self-concept in the fields of social and environmental psychology
•    To enable students to apply social psychological conceptualisations of self and identity to specific social and psychological contexts and issues in informed ways to generate enriched understandings
•    To encourage students to develop an awareness of the limits as well as the scope of social psychological analyses of self and identity and to consider what other resources are needed for a truly comprehensive understanding.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
•    evaluate theories of identity in terms of their psychological and social-environmental depth, scope and coherence
•    evaluate theories of identity in terms of their utility for providing insights into identity-relevant concerns in specific social and environmental contexts
•    critically review and assess a specific area of research that seeks to understand a specified aspect of self, identity and/or social cognitive processes

Module Content

Week 1:    Self, Self-Concept and Identity: Exploring the Concepts (AC)
Week 2:    Social Identity Theory/Self-Categorisation Theory (AC)
Week 3:    The Social Cure: The Role of Social Identity and Social Support in Health and Well-being (IG)
Week 4:    Identity Process Theory; Self-Aspect Model of Identity (AC)
Week 5:    Language and Identities in Multicultural Contexts: A Socio-Psychological Approach (RJ)
Week 6:    Social Constructionist Approaches to Self: Positioning Theory (AC)
Week 7:    Place Identity and Place Attachment (DU)
Week 8:    Impression Management and Attachment to Possessions (BG)
Week 9:    Identity Change as Meaning System Change: The Case of Religious Conversion (AC)
Week 10:    Intersecting Identities in Context: How Meaningful and Useful are Psychological Conceptualisations of Identity? (AC)

Methods of Teaching/Learning
Selected Texts/Journals
Essential Reading
Breakwell, G.M. (1986) Coping with threatened identities. London: Methuen.

Recommended Reading
Dittmar, H. (1992). The social psychology of material possessions: To have is to be. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Haslam, S. A., Jetten, J., Postmes, T., & Haslam, C. (2009). Social identity, health and well-being: An emerging agenda for applied psychology. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 58, 1-23.
Haslam, S. A., O’Brien, A., Jetten, J., Vormedal, K., & Penna, S. (2005). Taking the strain: Social identity, social support and the experience of stress. British Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 355-370.
Jaspal, R., & Coyle, A. (2010). ‘Arabic is the language of the Muslims – that’s how it was supposed to be’: Exploring language and religious identity through reflective accounts from young second generation British-born Asians. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 13, 17-36.
Jetten, J., Haslam, C., Haslam S. A., & Branscombe, N. (2009). The social cure. Scientific American Mind, 20(5), 26-33.

Background Reading
Bourhis, R., El-Geledi, S., & Sachdev, I. (2007). Language, ethnicity and intergroup relations. In A. Weatherall, B. Watson & C. Gallois (Eds), Language, discourse and social psychology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Brewer, M.B., & Gardner, W.L. (1996). Who is this ‘we’? Levels of collective identity and self representations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 83-93.
Burr, V. (2003). Social constructionism (2nd edn.). London: Routledge. (see especially Chapter 6 on ‘Discourse and subjectivity’).
Harré, R., & Moghaddam, F. (Eds) (2003). The self and others: Positioning individuals and groups in personal, political, and cultural contexts. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Haslam, C., Haslam, S.A., Jetten, J., Hayward, S., Bevis, A., & Tonks, J. (2010). The social treatment: The benefit of group interventions in residential care. Psychology and Aging, 25, 157-167.
Robinson, M. (2010). Absence of mind: The dispelling of inwardness from the modern myth of the self. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Simon, B. (2004). Identity in modern society: A social psychological perspective. Oxford: Blackwell.

Last Updated
5th August 2010