Henri Tajfel: Explorer of Identity and Difference: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Henri Tajfel: Explorer of Identity and Difference

1st Edition

By Rupert Brown


264 pages | 40 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138589810
pub: 2019-10-18
Available for pre-order
Hardback: 9781138589803
pub: 2019-10-18
Available for pre-order

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This book offers a biographical account of Henri Tajfel, one of the most influential European social psychologists of the 20th century, offering unique insights into his ground-breaking work in the areas of social perception, social identity and intergroup relations.

The author, Rupert Brown, paints a vivid and personal portrait of Tajfel’s life, his academic career and its significance to social psychology, and the key ideas he developed. It traces Tajfel’s life from his birth in Poland just after the end of World War 1, his time as a prisoner-of-war in World War 2, his work with Jewish orphans and other displaced persons after that war, and thence to his short but glittering academic career as a social psychologist.

Based on a range of sources including interviews, archival material, correspondence, photographs, and scholarly output, Brown expertly weaves together Tajfel’s personal narrative with his evolving intellectual interests and major scientific discoveries. Following a chronological structure with each chapter dedicated to a significant transition period in Tajfel’s life, the book ends with an appraisal of two of his principal posthumous legacies: the European Association of Social Psychology, a project always close to Tajfel’s heart and for which he worked tirelessly; and the "social identity approach" to social psychology initiated by Tajfel over forty years ago and now one of the discipline’s most important perspectives.

This is fascinating reading for students, established scholars, and anyone interested in the history of social psychology and the life and lasting contribution of this celebrated scholar.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Poland 1919-1937

Chapter 2: France, Germany and Austria, 1937-1945

Chapter 3: France, Belgium and Germany, 1945-1951

Chapter 4: London and Durham, 1951-1956

Chapter 5: Oxford, 1956-1966

Chapter 6: Palo Alto and early years at Bristol, 1966-1972

Chapter 7: Bristol 1972 – 1982

Chapter 8: The Tajfellian Legacy

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

About the Author

Rupert Brown is Professor of Social Psychology at Sussex University. He obtained his PhD under Tajfel in 1979 and has been an active researcher in the field of intergroup relations throughout his career. He was the recipient of the 2014 Tajfel medal, awarded by the European Association of Social Psychology for distinguished lifetime achievement. He is the author of two widely used student texts (Group Processes and Prejudice) and over 180 scientific articles and book chapters.

About the Series

European Monographs in Social Psychology

The European Monographs in Social Psychology series is published in conjunction with the European Association of Social Psychology, to support authored books for advanced students covering social topics that promote a European intellectual perspective to the rest of the world.

The aim of this series is to publish and promote the highest quality of writing in European social psychology, and provide an outlet for new research in the field. At a time when cultural and political frontiers in Europe are being redrawn, there could hardly be a more appropriate time to promote a distinctively European intellectual perspective to the rest of the world. The editor and the editorial board encourage publications which approach social psychology from a wide range of theoretical perspectives and whose content may be applied, theoretical or empirical.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology