Glossary of terms

A term coined by the medical sociologist Aaron Antonovsky to describe the capacity for people to manage stress in such a way that it enhnaces, rather than undermines, their health and well-being.

The process through which a person or group turns identity-related aspirations into reality.

The attempt to explain how people behave purely by reference to the situation in which they find themselves.

social change
A strategy of collective action based on rejection of existing intergroup relations.

social identification
The extent to which a person identifies with a particular social group.

social identity
An individual's knowledge that he or she belongs to certain groups (i.e., a sense of 'us-ness') together with some emotional and value significance to him or her of the group membership.

social identity theory
A social psychological theory developed by Henri Tajfel and John Turner in the 1970s that focuses on the psychological underpinnings of intergroup relations and social conflict.

statistical interaction
A pattern of findings where the effect of one factor depends on the level of another. One therefore needs information about both factors in order to describe or explain the findings.

A person's standing within a group, or a group's standing within a social system.

Strain experienced as a result of exposure to stressors that are perceived to threaten well-being.

A feature of the environment that poses a threat to well-being.

The strategy of collecting data from different sources and in different forms (e.g., behavioural, psychometric, physiological) in order to increase confidence in the reliability and validity of research findings.

Arbitrary, excessive and unaccountable use of power, typically by a state over some of its citizens or one social group over another.

The extent to which the findings of a piece of research have been correctly interpreted and show what they are claimed to show.