In this episode of Jargon Schmargon, we will explore the concept of social identity. I’ve previously talked about “Gamer” social identity in a previous episode of Jargon Schmargon, but in this episode we will explore social identity more broadly as a concept in and of itself.
Generally speaking, social identity is the part of an individual’s self-concept that comes from their perceived membership in a relevant social group.
This concept originates from Social Identity Theory, which is a theoretical framework that was developed to explain the tendency for individuals to categorise the social world into groups and, consequently, generate in-group and out-group biases in their thoughts and behavior.
Social identity is a particularly important concept to consider when undertaking any kind of research in the social sciences as how one identifies with a social group provides a vastly different determination of their categorisation within it than a more objective measure. For example, one’s subjective identification has been acknowledged as a better predictor of group behaviour than more objective measures (e.g., play frequency). As such, the incorporation of social identity into a measure of video game involvement seems essential for a thorough assessment of the extent to which an individual is involved in video game play as an activity.
…because let’s be honest: I wouldn’t qualify as a “gamer” from any objective measure post-having children.