Maria Brambilla, Claudia Manzi, Camillo Regalia, Maja Becker, Vivian L. Vignoles

Is religious identity a social identity? Self-categorization of religious self in six countries

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Keywords: Religious Identity; Self-Categorization; Social Identity;Religiosity.

Self-categorization theory states that people can perceive their own identity at "different levels of categorization". This theory leads to some basic questions for the field of research into religious identity: when people think about their religious identity, to which level do they refer? and do the different levels of categorizations of religious self correspond to different levels of centrality of this self? No study to our knowledge examined people's perception of the level of categorization of their religious selves. In the present study we investigated selfcategorization of religious identity in a six-country sample (including participants from UK, Belgium, Italy, Lebanon, Philippines and Ethiopia): results showed that level of categorization is different between countries, with a prevalence of social level in European respondents vs. individual level in other participants. Conclusions discuss the possible explanations of these (unexpected) findings.

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