I am researching the impacts of the Roaring Twenties. I feel one of its biggest impacts was impressing into Americans that they were each part of a social group or subculture, however niche.

For example, the realisation of more rebellious female youth that they identified with Flapper culture. In the present, the realisation can be compared to that of bookish, introverted people that they identify with the 'bookworm' stereotype.

Is there a word or phrase for the realisation that one belongs to a certain social group and identifies strongly with said social group?

  • 2
    Welcome to EL&U. For single-word requests, please provide a target sentence with a blank to fill in. Also, it would help if you provided words or phrases that came close, but did not fit (for a reason that you provide).
    – rajah9
    Jun 5, 2022 at 12:47
  • A related concept is the subject-specific word used in psychology: << autostereotyping [noun] refers to the incorporation of stereotypes about the groups one belongs to into one's own self-concept. Also known as self-stereotyping. See also group identification. >> [N., Sam M.S.; Psychology Dictionary] Jun 5, 2022 at 13:03
  • Read Labov on Martha's Vineyard to see how social groups cohere linguistically. It's not individual words; it's sound patterns that bind one. Jun 5, 2022 at 13:42
  • You mean specifically the initial moment of identification (e.g. waking up one morning and saying "Hey, I'm X, I never realised that before"), or the continuing state or process of identification (known as self-identification). "Realisation" can mean an initial discovery, or a process of making real.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 6, 2022 at 12:24

2 Answers 2


Probably the term group identification can be stretched to the inchoative from the usual stative usage:

In social psychology, [group identification is] an individual's sense of belonging to a particular social, cultural, or subcultural group. Social identity theory focuses on the contribution of group membership to the self-concept.

[Oxford Reference]

So the initial identifying of oneself with a reasonably closely aligned group, from the usual usage, the state of identifying oneself as part of a group that reasonably closely reflects one's attitudes and aspirations.


Desmond Morris, in his book The Naked Ape, called the different groups "subtribes."

Nowadays, people may identify with more than one group.

A term that might suit your purpose could be self-awareness, but it would need some context, because this term has multiple uses.

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