Defining What You are by What You are Not: Negational Identity and Needs Fulfillment
12 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2004
Date Written: February 16, 2004
The social identity literature has traditionally examined affirmational identities, that is, groups defined by what they are (e.g., "we are management scholars"), but has largely overlooked negational identities, that is, groups defined by what they are not (e.g., "we are not Republicans") as a source of social identification. There are two notable exceptions that have used very different methodologies and samples to examine negational identities at different levels (McGuire & McGuire, 1986; Elsbach & Bhattacharya, 2001). However, the prevalence, antecedents, and consequences of negational identification are yet to be understood. In this paper we establish the prevalence of negational identification and examine the meaning of negational identification to group members, i.e., what needs do negational identities fulfill?
Keywords: Negational identity, Affirmational identity, Need Fulfillment
JEL Classification: D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation