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Henri Tajfel: Explorer of identity and difference

13th February 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

£3 - £6

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Henri Tajfel was one of the most influential European social psychologists of the 20th century. Rupert Brown will trace his life from his birth in Poland in 1919, his time as a prisoner-of-war of the Germans in World War II, his post-war work with Jewish orphans in France and Belgium, and thence to his short but brilliant career as a social psychologist. Tajfel was interested in how and why groups see and treat each other in negative ways. He conducted a famous set of studies – known as the minimal group experiments – and developed Social Identity Theory, the heart of which is that people’s identities are often intimately tied up with the groups they belong to and they will work hard to make those groups appear superior to other groups. This theory paved the way for subsequent work which shows how mass-scale human violence, such as the Holocaust, might be possible.

Rupert Brown is Emeritus Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Sussex. He obtained his PhD under Tajfel at the University of Bristol and has been an active researcher in the field of intergroup relations and prejudice. He was the recipient of the 2014 Henri Tajfel medal, awarded by the European Association of Social Psychology and is the author of two widely used student texts, Group Processes (2019) and Prejudice (2010). His biography of Tajfel is published by Routledge (2019).


13th February 2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
£3 - £6
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