Ins and Outs: The Social Identity Theory Applied to the Prince by Machiavelli and Christopher Columbus’ Journal College
In social psychology, there is a well-known theory that explains why individuals show hatred for those of different races, religions, sexualities, sports teams, political parties, and other groupings. This is called the “social identity theory”. Those who share a common category, the ingroup, are more likely to bond, whereas people of the opposite or different category, the outgroup, are portrayed negatively and often stereotyped by the ingroup. In early human times, social identity theory protected humans from unknown threats. The human would see something in the woods and need to make a decision as to whether it was a friend or foe. In modern humans, social identity theory encourages unity by establishing an enemy. Peoples feel more connected to one another when there is a common outgroup. The Prince and Christopher Columbus: Extracts from Journal are excellent examples of how humans have retained their primal instincts and how such instincts can be used to benefit the nation or community. This paper will argue that having a mutual enemy, or outgroup, strengthens bonds among dissimilar peoples and helps a ruler consolidate power over his people.
In The Prince, Machiavelli argues that in order to unite people, the prince...
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