In public discourse the term patriotism is used with either positive or negative connotations. What does social-psychological research have to say about the consequences of patriotism? Patriotism can be defined analogous to the concept of social identity (Tajfel I Turner, 1979). Thus, results from social identity research are relevant. According to this research, people have a desire for positive social (national) identity. This desire can lead to discrimination of outgroups, but does not do so in every case. Differentiations of the concept of patriotism show that there are qualitatively different forms of patriotism that are in specific ways linked to partly contradictory variables. For example, constructive patriotism is associated with commitment against xenophobia while blind patriotism as an opposing form is associated with xenophobia. It is argued with reference to self-categorization theory (Turner et al., 1987) that patriotism as such is neither good nor bad. Rather, its consequences depend on the values and norms by which national identity is subjectively defined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology