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Tkhostov A.Sh., Rasskazova E.I. Identification and Identity Fusion: Variants of the Relationship between Self and Group in the Process of Social Identity Formation (Based on the Examples of the Family and Country)

Published in journal "Psychology and Psychotechnics", 2016-3 in rubric "Inner world", pages 233-242.

Resume: The paper is devoted to the differentiation of the two variants of social identity identification (in self-categorization theory) and identity fusion (in self-verification theory). In accordance with the self-regulation of body processes approach to identity, both variants are consequences of different mechanisms of identity formation, equally providing a person with the experience of self-identity and control as the general basis of the identity. The following hypotheses have been made: 1) Idenfitication and identity fusion are interrelated yet different types of social identity formation both in interpersonal domains (families) and ideological domains (countries). 2) Identity fusion (but not identification) with one's family or country is graphically depicted as the 'overlap' of the family circle or the country circle with the Self circle. 3) Both identity fusion and identification with the group have similar features such as the subjective feeling of belonging to the group (subjective proximity of group to Self) and emotions experienced when identification is changed (changes in the group are experienced as a negative but important event related to changes in the Self.In this study of identification and identity fusion with the country and family on samples of students (n1 = 161) and adults (n2 = 123) the authors have confirmed the structural and partly (for the family only) functional differences between these constructs. Both identity fusion and identification with the group are equally associated with indicators of self-identity - subjective proximity of group to "Self" and severity of negative reaction to the change of social identity, including change for better. The results are discussed from the perspective of the possible mechanisms behind the two different variants of identity formation.

Keywords: identity fusion, body processes approach, self-identity, subjective control, self-categorization, self-verification, identification with the country, identification with the family, identity formation, social identification

DOI: 10.7256/2070-8955.2016.3.19146

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