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Four problems for researchers using social categories

Gillespie, Alex ORCID: 0000-0002-0162-1269, Howarth, Caroline and Cornish, Flora ORCID: 0000-0002-3404-9385 (2012) Four problems for researchers using social categories. Culture and Psychology, 18 (3). pp. 391-402. ISSN 1354-067X

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1354067X12446236


Research on lay categorization processes has revealed that it can lead to distortions. Yet researchers routinely categorize people into groups and cultures. We argue that researchers should be aware that social categories are (1) perspectival, (2) historical, (3) disrupted by the movement of people, and (4) re-constitutive of the phenomena they seek to describe. We illustrate these problems with reference to contemporary research on globalization and the ‘clash of cultures.’ It is argued that problematizing cultural categories would do more to reduce inter-group conflict than reifying them.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Methodology
Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2012 08:10
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 16:45

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