What is Social Identity?

Social identity is a person’s sense of who they are based on their social group memberships. When there is a positive social identity, people are motivated to feel positive about themselves and maintain their self-esteem. The emotional investments people make in their group memberships results in their self-esteem being tied to the social standing of their social identity groups.

What is Intersectionality?

The term intersectionality describes the overlapping and interconnecting social identities that often impact and inform our lived experiences and how we move around in society. This video shows how often these identities are related to systems of oppression, domination, and discrimination.

Video: "What is Intersectionality?" (To turn on closed captioning you can either press C on your keyboard once the video is playing or click the "CC" icon in the video controls.)

Social Identity Wheel

Here is an example of a completed Social Identity Wheel.

Please download and complete a Social Identity Wheel of your own to see how you identify your current group memberships for each social category.

Download Social Identity Wheel template:

Once you have completed your Social Identity Wheel, reflect with the following questions:

  1. What three identities are most important to you? Why?
  2. How have each of your social identities influenced your experiences, who you are, and how you see yourself?
  3. What are two advantages/benefits and two disadvantages/costs that you have experienced as a result of each of your social identities?