Chapter | Diversity at Work | 2008

Identity Negotiation Processes Amidst Diversity: Understanding the Influence of Social Identity and Status Differences

by Jeffrey T. Polzer and Heather M. Caruso

Abstract

We integrate an identity negotiation framework with research on diversity, social identity theory, and status differences. This integration reveals the distinct advantages and challenges that high and low status people face when they engage in identity negotiation processes. In particular, our analysis systematically disentangles the obstacles that members of low status social groups must overcome to elicit verification of their positive self-views. People in this situation are not only working against a stereotype from a position of low influence, but are also threatening the relative standing of those whose appraisals they are attempting to change. By considering status differences, we are able to identify certain conditions under which verification effects should have especially potent effects, and other conditions under which appraisal effects may be of greater benefit than verification effects to the performance of diverse groups.

Keywords: Status and Position; Prejudice and Bias; Groups and Teams; Organizational Culture; Identity; Diversity Characteristics; Power and Influence;

Citation:

Polzer, Jeffrey T., and Heather M. Caruso. "Identity Negotiation Processes Amidst Diversity: Understanding the Influence of Social Identity and Status Differences." In Diversity at Work, edited by Arthur P. Brief. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2008.