Power and Identity  book cover
1st Edition

Power and Identity

ISBN 9781848721777
Published December 18, 2014 by Psychology Press
192 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The concepts of power and identity are vital to many areas of social research. In this edited collection, a prominent set of contributors explore the double relationship between power and group identity, focusing on two complementary lines of enquiry:

  • In what ways can the powerful dictate the identities of the powerless?
  • How can the powerless redefine their identity to challenge the powerful?

Each chapter is written by leading authorities in the field, and investigates a particular aspect of the interplay of identity and power via a range of empirical contexts such as colonialism, nationalism, collective action, and electoral politics.

The case studies include early modern Goa under Portuguese rule, the tribes of modern-day Jordan, the use of sexual stereotyping and objectification by female activists seeking to transform social systems, and a revisiting of the classic Stanford Prison Experiment. The chapters include contributions from a variety of social disciplines and research methodologies, and together provide a comprehensive overview of a subject at the cutting-edge of social and political psychology.

Power and Identity will be of great interest to researchers, graduates and upper-level undergraduate students from across the social sciences.

Table of Contents

1. Power and identity: the multiple facets of a complex relationship Denis Sindic, Manuela Barreto, Rui Costa-Lopes  2. Empire, religion, and identity: The making of Goan people in the early-modern period Ângela Barreto Xavier  3 .State power and the genesis of Portuguese national identity José Manuel Sobral  4. They’re here to stay: Tribes and power in contemporary Jordan Eleanor Gao  5. Angry naked ladies: Can stereotyping and sexual objectification be used to transform social systems? Olivier Klein, Jim Allen, Philippe Bernard, & Sarah Gervais  6. Empowerment: The Intersection of Identity and Power in Collective Action John Drury, Atalanti Evripidou, & Martijn van Zomeren  7. May the force be with you: Social identity, power, and the perils of powerlessness Stephen Reicher & Alex Haslam  8. Power by the people and for the people: Political power and identity in the separation and integration of national states Denis Sindic  9. Understanding Intergroup Relations in Context: Power and Identity John Dovidio

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Denis Sindic is Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Manuela Barreto is Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at the University of Exeter, UK.

Rui Costa-Lopes is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal.


"The prominent scholars present historical, sociological, and psychological perspectives on the association between power and identity. Beginning with the notion that identities are inherently social and particular identities are dependent on political relations, contributors delve into case examples and demonstrations of how identity and power are linked. The collection fills a clear void in the social science literature by expounding on current research showing the connection between identity and power from perspectives of both the powerful and powerless. A timely review for those in the social sciences." - S. Reysen, Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA, in CHOICE, July 2015 

"Even though power and identity have often been identified as the key concepts of contemporary social science there are very few studies that explore directly their complex relationships. This valuable collection brings together high quality comparative analyses of power and identity from very diverse empirical contexts. This is an insightful study which will have considerable appeal beyond social and political psychology." - Siniša Malešević, University College, Dublin, Ireland