Chinese social identity and inter-group relations: the influence of benevolent authority

James Liu, Mei-Chih Li and Xiao-Dong Yue

in Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199541850
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Chinese social identity and inter-group relations: the influence of benevolent authority

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The articulation of a contemporary perspective on Chinese social identity and inter-group relations requires integration of three basic strands of knowledge: interdependent and independent selves from cross-cultural psychology; social identity and self-categorization from inter-group psychology; and historical analysis, weaving these strands of influence into the context of Chinese culture and its evolving indigenous psychology. This article reveals that with the onslaught of Western imperialism over the last two centuries, traditional Chinese civilization collapsed and traditional Chinese virtues came to be understood as flaws by leading Chinese intellectuals and their political rulers. Using a representational and historically contingent approach to social identity and inter-group relations, this article argues that the ethical and relational origins of traditional Chinese social identity enable culturally unique predictions about how Chinese people manage cultural diversity and international relations today.

Keywords: Chinese social identity; inter-group relations; cross-cultural psychology; inter-group psychology; traditional Chinese virtue

Article.  13388 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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