In our day to day life, we meet a lot of people. We are subject to many impressions and statements. There are also a lot of explanations found in the action of others. Over and above all of this we are bombarded with various messages from the media. The phenomenal increase in means of communication has radically changed the way we perceive the world around us. Radio, Television and now the internet have drastically lowered the time lag between the occurrence of an event and its reporting. Many happenings can now be seen unfolding almost live. In the circumstances, our individual thoughts can not stay aloof of these impressions and shape the way we perceive and understand the world. Earlier on, individual thought was the result of an orthodoxy shared with the immediate surrounding community. The community thought as a whole entity. Later still in the age of enlightenment i.e. after the advent of the written word, individual thought was freed from the shackles of traditional beliefs. .
Representation for an individual or otherwise means a formal system for clearly expressing information from various sources and the method with which this is done. Social representations are the means of communication and understanding of the complex phenomena that form the collective impact on the individual.
Humans are social animals, living through interaction with each other. Individuals, therefore, do not think in isolation. Instead, they construct a framework of shared references that define how to think about the world around them. Such shared references can be viewed as social representations.3
Social representations are a set of ideas, beliefs, opinions and other bits of knowledge which we share with other members of a particular group. There are various groups that we belong to. Some of us have political affiliations and some belong to Parents Teachers Associations.