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date: 08 December 2023

Group Socializationlocked

Group Socializationlocked

  • Geoffrey J. LeonardelliGeoffrey J. LeonardelliUniversity of Toronto


Group socialization refers to the psychological process by which individuals and groups mutually influence each other’s experience of being a group member. It is a significant topic, considered central to group members’ experience of group living, adjustment, and well-being, and it can be hotly contested, affecting groups of people that include less than a handful to thousands, millions, or more. Group socialization is most regularly interpreted to refer to how groups influence individuals’ transition to becoming group members. However, group socialization includes other membership transitions, too (e.g., becoming full members or exiting the group). Individual members can also influence what defines group membership for themselves and others. Social and self-categorization processes describe how people internalize group socialization, not only in terms of how socializing content is cognitively represented as a group prototype, but also in how people come to see themselves as group members through a process called self-stereotyping. Group socialization is different from, but can inform, group development (i.e., how groups change over time) and is a topic that is regularly negotiated by group members, as the literatures on socialization attitudes (e.g., assimilation, segregation, multiculturalism) and subjective group dynamics attest. Future research would benefit from understanding which principles of group socialization apply to all groups or specific types (small groups, categories). It would also benefit from understanding how multiple and competing group prototypes can be reconciled, the role of the intergroup context in group socialization, and the conditions under which group socialization is negotiated or simply internalized.


  • Organizational and Institutional Psychology
  • Psychology and Other Disciplines
  • Social Psychology

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