Term Paper: Psychology: Identification With a Group

Pages: 2 (776 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Psychology  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] When people are too close to one another - either physically or emotionally - they lack personal space and this makes them distinctly uncomfortable because people are "wired" to have space that belongs only to them (Tajfel & Turner, 1979). However, if one allows those people to expand their personal space beyond what the majority of people need to survive and be comfortable, those people then begin to develop a territory. If that territory is later challenged - through physical or mental ways - the person may fight back and attempt to hold that territory, even though it is much more than the person actually needs (Tajfel & Turner, 1986).

People understand the need to develop a territory in some instances (like sales, for example) and they also understand when to allow others to be in their territory because many things have to be shared. This is somewhat different from the way the animal kingdom handles territory, because the majority of animals develop a territory and then insist it is theirs. They will vigorously defend it to the point of death if necessary, and that is especially true for males of most species (Tajfel & Turner, 1986). While human men may seem territorial, they are not likely to actually run every other male out of a particular area. They understand they have to live and work around these people, and that the idea of having a territory into which others are not allowed to venture is not an acceptable way to handle normal human interaction (Tajfel & Turner, 1986). Since non-human species do not have this particular issue, they are much more vigorous about ensuring they are the only one of their species and gender in a territory that they will continue to defend no matter what may come against them.


Tajfel, H., & Turner, J.C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behaviour. In S. Worchel & W.G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 7 -- 24). Chicago, IL: Nelson-Hall.

Tajfel, H., & Turner, J.C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W.G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology [END OF PREVIEW]

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