We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

40 Years of Multiple Social Categorization: A Tool for Social Inclusivity

Prati, Francesca and Crisp, Richard J. and Rubini, Monica (2021) '40 Years of Multiple Social Categorization: A Tool for Social Inclusivity.', European Review of Social Psychology, 32 (1). pp. 47-87.


We review a 40-year corpus of research that we collectively name “Multiple Categorisation Theory” (MCT). From early illustrations using the minimal group paradigm, through a focus on how people cognitively represent social diversity, to recent models of outgroup “re-humanisation”, this work has revealed much about how we think about inclusivity, exclusion, and intergroup differences. We review research that assessed ways to reduce intergroup bias by attenuating the reliance on simple categorisation via “crossed categorisation”. We describe how this research evolved from a focus on intergroup differences to incorporate self-categorisation, through processes of decategorisation and increased social identity complexity. Finally, we consider contemporary models that reveal the generalised benefits of multiple categorisation in promoting outgroup “re-humanisation” through “cognitive liberalisation”. We conclude by highlighting the theoretical and practical implications of this research programme.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in European Review of Social Psychology. Prati, Francesca, Crisp, Richard J. & Rubini, Monica (2021). 40 Years of Multiple Social Categorization: A Tool for Social Inclusivity. European Review of Social Psychology 32(1): 47-87. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:28 September 2020
Date deposited:12 July 2021
Date of first online publication:27 December 2020
Date first made open access:27 December 2021

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar