Stereotyping - the process of perceiving and reacting to people in terms of their group membership - is a widespread phenomenon, and one of the most widely investigated topics in social psychology. This new book is about the causes and consequences of stereotyping. It begins from the premise that, in order to understand the nature and function of stereotyping, it is essential to understand its role in, and relationship to, the activities of social groups. In so doing, it provides an alternative to more cognitive approaches that regard stereotyping primarily as a bias produced by the limits of individual information processing.The contributors debate and challenge a range of traditional beliefs about stereotyping by exploring its social functions in intergroup contexts. They also tackle a range of thorny problems in sterotyping and related literatures: including the question of sterotype accuracy, why stereotypes develop and are widely shared, and how stereotypes and sterotyping impact upon people's self-esteem and self-definition. In short, this book examines how stereotypes are structured by social identities and the relations between groups.