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The social identity developed in the process of individual’s interaction with society is based on a kind of positive self-evaluation. Values, attitudes, views, beliefs and their change, stereotypes and social indicators are effective for an individual in identifying and adapting with any social structure/group. In this process the individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors are shaped in the interpersonal relationships and give him a social identity. The social behavior patterns gained by the individual during the socialization process has been the subject of many psychological and sociological studies. The question that we will try to trace in this study is to what extent religion is effective in the construction of social identity. As a social being, an individual finds herself in a cultural atmosphere that surrounds her from the moment she was born. Religion is one of the most important elements of this cultural system and it has shown itself in every period and place of human beings. Religion which entirely shapes social and cultural structure entirely is highly effective in the construction of individual’s social identity, which is a part of the I-concept of her. Religions shape their identities with the principles of faith-worship, moral rules and norms of behavior that they offer to their believers. On the other hand, every religious system has the ideal of establishing a social structure in order to keep its believers altogether. This social context that religion proposes serves to prioritize group belonging and thus to build religious social identity in the name of integration with the group. At this point, religion can be effective in identity formation over the other. Different religious identities may pave the way for otherisation by making “social grouping ”and“ social comparison” to their members. In parallel with the increase in identification with the inner group, the individual can exalt her social group identity while having possible degrading discourses to the other group. In this process of social categorization, one tries to find out different aspects of herself, to understand that she is better and in this way to create a positive social identity. The aim of the study is to explore the social dimension of human behavior and the social construction of identity, as well as to understand the effect of religion on group identification, social contact and group bias. The results of the research were interpreted and discussed within the scope of related studies in the literature.

Social identity, religion, value, group identification, social contact, group bias.

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