Social identity or just identity in psychology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy, identity is the conception, qualities, beliefs, and expressions that make a person (self-identity) or group (particular social category or social group). Identity may be distinguished from identification; identity is a label, whereas identification refers to the classifying act itself. Identity is thus best construed as being both relational and contextual, while the act of identification is best viewed as inherently processual
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- While the stranger is present before us, evidence can arise of his possessing an attribute that makes him different from others in the category of persons available for him to be, and of a less desirable kind – in the extreme, a person who is quite thoroughly bad, or dangerous, or weak. He is thus reduced in our minds from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one. Such an attribute is a stigma, especially when its discrediting effect is very extensive; sometimes it is also called a failing, a shortcoming, a handicap. It constitutes a special discrepancy between virtual and actual social identity.
- Erving Goffman (1963), Stigma : Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, p. 11-12
- People define themselves in terms of both unique individualizing attributes and collective attributes of the groups to which they belong.
- Christian Homburg, Jan Wieseke, and Wayne D. Hoyer. "Social identity and the service-profit chain." Journal of Marketing 73.2 (2009). p. 54