Reference : Reference Group, History of
Parts of books : Contribution to encyclopedias, dictionaries...
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Sociology & social sciences
Reference Group, History of
Hoenig, Barbara mailto [University of Innsbruck > Department of Sociology]
The International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. 2nd edition
Wright, James D.
Vol. 20, pp. 72-76
United Kingdom
[en] Reference Group Theory ; Self ; Structuralism
[en] A person’s reference group can be considered either as a source of normative orientation or as a group of social comparison in making a judgment, irrespective of one’s group membership. The concept has mainly been applied in two theoretical traditions of research: While symbolic interactionists and social psychologists outlined the normative importance of reference groups for the development of the self, structural functionalist sociologists analyzed how material deprivation is estimated relative and with reference to other groups of comparison in the social structure. The concept has also played an important role in developing the discipline’s methodology of social research.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public

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