The distinctiveness principle: Identity, meaning, and the bounds of cultural relativity

Vignoles, Vivian L, Chryssochoou, Xenia and Breakwell, Glynis M (2000) The distinctiveness principle: Identity, meaning, and the bounds of cultural relativity. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4 (4). pp. 337-354. ISSN 1088-8683

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Abstract

Extending theories of distinctiveness motivation in identity (Breakwell, 1987; Brewer, 1991; Snyder & Fromkin, 1980), we discuss the precise role of distinctiveness in identity processes and the cross-cultural generality of the distinctiveness principle. We argue that (a) within Western cultures, distinctiveness is necessary for the construction of meaning within identity, and (b) the distinctiveness principle is not incompatible with non-Western cultural systems. We propose a distinction among three sources of distinctiveness: position, difference, and separateness, with different implications for identity and behavior. These sources coexist within cultures, on both individual and group levels of self-representation, but they may be emphasized differently according to culture and context.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Vivian Vignoles
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:52
Last Modified: 17 May 2012 13:50
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14830
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