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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The language of change? Characterizations of in-group social position, threat, and the deployment of 'distinctive' group attributes
Author(s): Livingstone, Andrew G
Spears, Russell
Manstead, Antony S R
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Issue Date: Jun-2009
Date Deposited: 3-Dec-2012
Citation: Livingstone AG, Spears R & Manstead ASR (2009) The language of change? Characterizations of in-group social position, threat, and the deployment of 'distinctive' group attributes. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48 (2), pp. 295-311.
Abstract: A considerable body of research has shown that group members establish and emphasize characteristics or attributes that define their in-group in relation to comparison out-groups. We extend this research by exploring the range of ways in which members of the same social category (Welsh people) deploy a particular attribute (the Welsh language) as a flexible identity management resource. Through a thematic analysis of data from interviews and two public speeches, we examine how the deployment of the Welsh language is bound up with characterizations of the in-group's wider intergroup position (in terms of power relations and their legitimacy and stability), and one's position within the in-group. We focus in particular on the rhetorical and strategic value of such characterizations for policing in-group boundaries on the one hand, and for the in-group's intergroup position on the other. We conclude by emphasizing the need to (1) locate analyses of the uses and importance of group-defining attributes within the social setting that gives them meaning and (2) to appreciate such characterizations as attempts to influence, rather than simply reflect that setting.
DOI Link: 10.1348/014466608X329533
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