01 January 2008


From this brief discussion it can be seen that Australian Social Identity and Social Values form a vital role in the interactions of people within Australian society (Cook, 2004). These interactions are based on deep rooted evolutionary cues that aid survival, and both physiological and psychological needs as defined by Abraham Maslow. Theory and research supports the Social Identity Theory, Minimal Group Effect and use of stereotypes in situations that highlight the negative side of human behaviour when dealing with situations based on social identity and social values.

Australian social identity has changed through historical times based on the cultural influences of its immigrants and social values. Although Australia is multicultural in demographic terms, Australia’s national identity has not always included its indigenous people and has demonstrated a divergence of its social values towards Aboriginals. This has created a divide in cross-cultural relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians; and further divides can also been seen emerging towards other perceived out-groups such as Muslims and Australians of Middle Eastern decent. In conclusion, Australian’s social identity and social values indicate the nature of social norms, social acceptance, group membership and inter group relations within the field of social psychology.