The Scientific Study of People Who Are Single:
An Annotated Bibliography

Bella M. DePaulo
Chair, Academic Advisory Board of the Spectrum Institute
Research and Policy Division of the
American Association for Single People (AASP)

January 2, 2004


5. Stigma, Ideology, and Identity

Identity and Identity Politics

Social movements such as the civil rights movement and womenís movements can contribute to consciousness-raising. Members of disparaged groups sometimes come to identify with their group and some become political activists. There has been little consciousness-raising with regard to singles as a social group. Because civil status is more permeable than some other categories such as race and gender, the psychology of group identification may be different, too. An important component of politics is of course voting. The civil status gap in voting has been acknowledged far less often than other category differences such as the gender gap.

The readings listed here address the identity issues of seeing single status as an important aspect of oneís identity and thinking of singles as a social and perhaps political group. Other identity issues related to single status are also important and are addressed in other sections. The section on The Life Cycle and the Social Clock, for example, includes models of adult development.

Crocker, J., Luhtanen, R., Blaine, B., & Broadnax, S. (1994). Collective self-esteem and psychological well being among White, Black, and Asian college students. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 503-513.

DíEmilio, J. (1983). Sexual politics, sexual communities: The making of a homosexual minority in the United States, 1940-1970. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Ellemers, N., Van Knippenberg, A., De Vries, N., & Wilke, H. (1988). Social identification and permeability of group boundaries. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18, 497-513.

Ellemers, N., Van Knippenberg, A., De Vries, N., & Wilke, H. (1992). Status protection in high status minority groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 22, 123-140.

Ellemers, N., Wilke, H., & Van Knippenberg, A. (1993). Effects of the legitimacy of low group or individual status on individual and collective status-enhancement strategies. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 64, 766-778.

Fraser, N. (1997). Justice interruptus: Critical reflections on the "postsocialist" condition. NY: Routledge.

Guinier, L., & Torres, G. (2002). The minerís canary: Enlisting race, resisting power, transforming democracy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Gutmann, A. (2003). Identity in democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Judis, J. B., & Teixteira, R. (2002). The emerging democratic majority. NY: Scribner. (Esp p. 55)

Magaro, P. A., & Ashbrook, R. M. (1985). The personality of society groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 1479-1489.

Oegema, D., & Klandermans, B. (1994). Why social movement sympathizers donít participate: Erosion and nonconversion of support. American Sociological Review, 59, 703-722.

Plutzer, E., & McBurnett, M. (1991). Family life and American politics: the "marriage gap" reconsidered. Public Opinion Quarterly, 55, 113-127.

Smith, E. R., Murphy, J., & Coats, S. (1999). Attachment to groups: Theory and measurement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 94-110.

van Dusen, D. B. (1993). The world view of a singlesí organization: Singleness as a transitional status. Unpublished dissertation, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

Wright, S. C., Taylor, D. M., & Moghaddam, F. M. (1990). Responding to membership in a disadvantaged group: From acceptance to collective protest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 994-1003.


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