Sources of distinctiveness: position, difference and separateness in the identities of Anglican parish priests

Vivian L. Vignoles, Xenia Chryssochoou, Glynis M. Breakwell

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19 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the implications of three sources of distinctiveness-position, difference and separateness-for identity and subjective well-being in a survey of 149 Anglican parish priests. Distinctiveness was examined within parish and clergy comparative contexts. Each source contributed substantially and uniquely to ratings of the distinctiveness associated with identity elements in each context. Parish-context position was emphasised within identity and was positive for affect, while parish-context separateness was negative for affect. Distinctiveness in the clergy context was not emphasised within identity and was unrelated to affect. This shows that distinctiveness is not a unitary construct: extending existing theories (Breakwell, 1993; Brewer, 1991; Triandis, 1995), we argue that different forms of distinctiveness will have different implications for identity and well-being according to culture and context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-780
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002


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