Barreto, M., & Ellemers, N. (2002). The impact of respect versus neglect of self-identities on identification and group loyalty. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(5), 629-639.
How do targets deal with a discrepancy between their choice of identity and the way they are categorized by others? In this article, the authors demonstrate that participants' (college students; mean age 22 yrs old) reactions to this discrepancy depend on whether the way they are actually treated by others respects their chosen identity. Participants whose choice of identity was neglected expressed low identification and little loyalty to the group to which they had been assigned. By contrast, identification and group loyalty were stronger among participants whose choice of identity was respected and who did not differ from controls on these measures. Of importance, only
participants whose self-identity was respected also were willing to self-categorize in and express willingness to cooperate with the ascribed group. The implications of these results for the understanding of identity processes in pluralist societies are discussed.