Social Identity Theory and Communication

Stereotyping is an extension of social identity theory. Stereotyping is one type of prejudice that appears from us towards other people. We just look at them based on the outside and focus on a small part and jump into the conclusion. The reason why people are stereotyping is that people have categorical thinking. This sense comes with a natural and unconscious process that concludes our understanding. The second reason is we have an innate need to understand and estimate others’ behaviour.

The third reason is stereotyping enhances our self-concept and self-identity.

Social identity and self-enhancement reinforce the stereotyping process through categorization, homogenization and differentiation. Categorization process categorizes people into groups. We differentiate ourselves with other groups. We seek for similarity with other people, and discriminate against others if they are different from us. Homogenization process assigns similar traits within a group, and different traits to other groups.

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Differentiation process assigns more favourable attributes to our group and less favourable to other groups.
In the case of Syd Gilman and Rochelle Beauport in Hy Dairies Incorporation, Beauport works in brand management at Hy Dairies and succeeds to boost the sale of HY’s gourmet ice cream. Syd Gilman offers her the recently vacated position of market research coordinator as a platform to widen her experience in top-level management and also would increase her salaries. Beauport is happy about this good news. Unfortunately, she thinks that market research coordinator is just a sideline department to Hy Dairies Incorporation and technical support to an organization.

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This is not the route to get work at top-level management.

As Beauport declined his offer and made the jump into the conclusion without taking any advantages or any consideration regarding Gilman’s offer. Beauport has a stereotype toward the market research coordinator, that this department is only a backroom job. She is not considered the chances to enhance her career in this company as Mr. Gilman has worked as the marketing research coordinator for several years earlier to obtain more experiences before he became the vice president of marketing in Hy Dairies.

Hy Dairies Incorporation has stereotyped toward women and people of color in top management. Her employer in brand management said that the women could not go further and place them in technical support of lower brand management jobs. Syd Gilman also said that she could not go any further in a brand management job and she is suitable to work in a market research coordinator. The company has differentiated the level management into gender and discriminates against women, races and skin colour.

2) What other perceptual error is apparent in this study?

The other perceptual error apparent in this study is the halo effect. The Halo effect occurs when one general impression toward a person’s characteristics distorts our perception of other characteristics of that person. This error always occurs when someone is focusing only on one information and not looking for other information. We use general information of the person to fill in the missing information. In this case, when Mr.Gilman offers her a vacant position of market research coordinator and increases her salary. She declines his offers because she only knows the general information regarding the market research coordinator is the technical support of the organization, a “backroom” job, far removed from the company’s bottom-line activities. Furthermore, she thinks that Mr.Gilman is trying to downgrade her as a woman that could not go any further to work in top-level management. She also has experience with her previous employer of brand management and stated that the women could not take the heat in brand management and placed women in technical support in brand management.

3) What can organisations do to minimize misperceptions in these types of situations?

The organizations or Mr.Gilman should do to minimize the perception models is, Mr.Gilman should ask the questions to Beauport why she declines his offer instead of accepting it, and asking her assumption or her thought about market research coordinator. Mr.Gilman should clarify his intention in offering the job position at market research coordinator to her. He wants Beauport to improve and expand her experiences and skills, enhance her career in the company and also this is one of the best platforms to obtain a position at top-level management as Mr.Gilman and not trying to downgrade her. He also needs to get an explanation about Beauport’s opinion and her perspective regarding the offer to avoid any misunderstanding.

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Social Identity Theory and Communication. (2020, Sep 27). Retrieved from

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