Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The Construction of Stereotypes within Social Psychology: From Social Cognition to Ideology

Augoustinos, M. and Walker, I. (1998) The Construction of Stereotypes within Social Psychology: From Social Cognition to Ideology. Theory & Psychology, 8 (5). pp. 629-652.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


This paper reviews the varying and contrasting ways in which stereotypes, as representations of groups, and stereotyping as an activity, have been constructed and understood within contemporary social psychology. These distinct theoretical approaches include the dominant social cognitive tradition, which views stereotypes as cognitive schemas that simplify reality, and self-categorization theory, which views stereotypes as psychologically valid representations which reflect the actualities of intergroup relations. We articulate how more social and collective accounts based on social representations theory, ideology and discursive psychology can enrich our understanding of stereotypes and stereotyping. Stereotypes are not the product of individual cognitive activity alone, but are also social and collective products which function ideologically by justifying and legitimizing existing social and power relations within a society. We also discuss recent contributions to the enduring enigma within social psychology regarding the relationship between stereotypes and social reality, and identify the inherent ideological problems which plague positivist attempts to explicate this relationship. Finally, we discuss the need for an integrative social psychological theory of stereotyping which links the cognitive and psychological analyses of stereotyping to more social, structural and discursive analyses.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
Copyright: © 1998 Sage Publications
Item Control Page Item Control Page