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Talking about PoliticsInformal Groups and Social Identity in American Life$
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Katherine Cramer Walsh

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226872186

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226872216.001.0001

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Clarifying Social Identity Through Group Interaction

Clarifying Social Identity Through Group Interaction

Chapter:
(p.53) Chapter 4 Clarifying Social Identity Through Group Interaction
Source:
Talking about Politics
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226872216.003.0004

This chapter presents empirical evidence from participant observation and national sample survey data of the processes through which small groups of people create contexts of understanding and the conditions that foster such processes. Specifically, observations of when and how groups of people clarify shared identities suggest that the store of overlapping acquaintances and experiences that group members share as well as characteristics of the physical setting in which they meet influence the extent to which they clarify collective identities. National sample survey data are used to investigate this process on the individual level and analyze whether and in what conditions participants in voluntary associations clarify identity through informal group talk.

Keywords:   social identity, group talk, participant observation, national sample survey, shared identities, voluntary associations

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