Social Psychology

Social Psychology
Individuals, Interaction, and Inequality

August 2017 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Social Psychology: Individuals, Interaction, and Inequality invites you to take a sociological approach to the study of the individual in relationship to society. This new title highlights how social psychology provides varied, yet inter-related, explanations for individuals' experiences in groups and how the micro-level interactions of individuals have consequences for macro-level phenomena within social groups.


Authors Karen A. Hegtvedt and Cathryn Johnson uniquely stress the interconnections among these processes to create a story of how individuals come to perceive and act in their social worlds. In addition to the introduction of central theoretical approaches, the story relies on a wide array of examples that students can readily associate the substance of social psychology in their own experiences and social interactions. In the end, students will grasp a number of elements of social psychology that will lead them to consider how their identities and perceptions shape what they do, how the structures in which they are embedded may constrain or facilitate their behaviors, and how these dynamics contribute to reinforcing or ameliorating inequalities in their social groups.  

1. Introduction to the Interrelated Processes of Social Psychology
Roots, Overview, and Key Themes  
2. Methods of Developing Social Psychological Knowledge
The Logic of Scientific Inquiry  
Social Research Methodologies  
Archival Methods  
Ethical Issues  
Segue: From the Means to Collect Data to the Patterns Revealed  
3. The Individual in a Social World
How Do Individuals Socially Construct Their Worlds?  
How Does the Social Self Emerge?  
Segue: The Symbolic Interaction Approach and Identity Processes  
4. Identity Processes
How Do Individuals Socially Construct Their Identities?  
How Do Identities Affect the Choices We Make and Our Interactions with Others?  
Segue: The Symbolic Interaction Approach, Identity Processes, and Social Cognition  
5. Intra-Individual Processes: Social Cognitions
How Do Cognitions Affect Behavior?  
Segue: Social Cognition Feeds Attitude Processes  
6. Intra-Individual Processes: Attitudes
How Do Attitudes Develop?  
How Do Attitudes Change?  
Reciprocal Influences: To What Extent Are Attitudes Related to Behavior?  
Segue: Moving from Attitudes to Affect  
7. Beyond Cognition: Affect and Emotions
What Distinguishes Emotions from Other Affective States?  
Why Do People Feel What They Feel?  
What Influences Displays of People's Feelings?  
How Do Gender and Race/Ethnicity Influence Experience and Display of Emotions?  
How to Affective States Influence Social Interaction?  
Segue: Emotions, Status, Power, and Inequality  
8. Status Processes in Groups
How Are Groups Defined?  
What is Conformity and Why Do People Conform in Groups?  
Status Processes in Groups  
How Can Status Inequalitiy in Groups be Reduced?  
How Do Characteristics Acquire Status Value in the First Place?  
Segue: Status and Power  
9. Power Relations in Groups and Social Networks
Social Exchange Theory Overview  
When Will Actors Use Power in Social Exchange Relations?  
How Do Commitment and Trust Develop in Social Exchange Relations?  
What is the Role of Emotions in Social Exchange Relations?  
What is the Relationship between Status and Power?  
Segue: Power and Legitimacy  
10. Legitimacy: Shaping Behavior in Groups and Organizations
The Milgram Studies on Obedience and Legitimate Authority  
What is the Process of Legitimacy?  
How Do Individuals and Structures Become Legitimated?  
What are the Consequences of Legitimation? The Good and the Bad  
Segue: Legitimacy and Justice  
11. Justice Processes and Evaluations Within Groups
What is Justice?  
How Do People Perceive Injustice?  
How Do People Respond to Perceptions of Injustice?  
Segue: Justice and Intergroup Relations in Society  
12. Intergroup Processes
Intergroup Behavior  
Prejudice and Discrimination  
Ameliorating Negative Intergroup Behavior  
Conclusion: Intergroup Processes and Addressing Social Inequalities  
Key features


  • This title takes a unique story approach to illustrate how individual level processes contribute to explaining issues of social inequality within groups, and stresses, how these areas are interrelated, and illustrates how individuals matter beyond the micro-level.
  • Clear and resonant examples illustrate how social psychology provides a way for students to understand their own lives and ensure they "take home" what they have learned in class.
  • The book acts as a primer for scholars outside the field, highlighting central social psychological processes that are relevant to a wide array of work in sociology such as cultural processes, crime, health outcomes, family interactions, and labor market dynamics.

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ISBN: 9781412965040