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Individual & Group Identities

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Presentation on theme: "Individual & Group Identities"— Presentation transcript:

1 Individual & Group Identities

2 Difference Frameworks
Essentialism/ Positivism Entities exist outside oneself Constructionism Social processes determine the importance and meaning of difference E.g., Chris Yates in TMOD p. 5 (Rosenblum & Travis, 1996) Sexual Identity…Orientation V. Preference

3 Difference From…. Who has the power to determine what/who is different? Frankenburg (1996) In America “whites are the nondefined definers of other people.” e.g., European People in boats (Us) V. Indigenous People on land (Them) How do we identify ourselves?

4 Identity Formation Identity= the condition of being some specific person as fashioned by self and society Identification= the psychological process wherein children try to look, act, feel and be like significant people in their social environment as part of their identity formation

5 Identification Mechanisms
Differentiation (Freud’s,1921 primary/secondary identification) Affiliation (Chodorow, 1974) Imitation and Social learning (Bandura, 1969; Mischell, 1966) Cognitive schema Independent V. Interdependent Construals Social patterns impacting attitudes, beliefs, cognitions, norms, values, goals, and family structures

6 Individualism, An Independent Construal
A cultural pattern stressing autonomy and independence Focus on a “nuclear family” More tolerant of practices like divorce More libertarian

7 Collectivism– An Interdependent Construal
Social pattern of closely linked individuals who define themselves as interdependent members of a collective (e.g., family, coworkers, etc.) Large family living closely Greater conformity Focus on “in-group” v. “out-group”

8 United States U.S. mainstream society tends to be individualistic/independent However, U.S. parallel cultures tend to be collectivistic/interdependent

9 United States Southern States as Collectivistic
Oppositional racial consciousness= unity in opposition I.e., minority group reacting to a powerful, hostile majority Agrarian society Relative poverty.…. Social dependence Church life…. Fundamentalism

10 Mountainwest & Great Plains as Individualistic
Tend to be individualistic Southwest I.e., NM, AZ, NV, CA are collectivistic due to Latino culture UT is more collectivistic due to Mormon influence HI is collectivistic due to Asian influence

11 Ethnic Identity Formation
Social Identity: The part of a person’s self-concept that is based on identification with a nation, culture, or group or with gender or other roles in society. Ethnic Identity: A person’s identification with a racial, religious, or ethnic group. Acculturation: The process by which members of minority groups come to identify with and feel part of the mainstream culture.

12 Acculturation Strategies

13 White Identity Formation Helms (1995)
Two major developmental tasks must be achieved for Whites to form a healthy white identity: 1- The abandonment of individual racism 2- The opposition to institutional and cultural racism

14 Helms’ 6 Stages of White Identity
Contact Pseudo-independent Disintegration Immersion/Emmersion Reintegration Autonomy

15 Contact Little attention is given to their ethnic identity
Perceive selves as color blind Perceive racism as the prejudiced behaviors of individuals rather than as a system

16 Disintegration Growing awareness of racism & White privilege
Discomfort w/ feelings of shame, guilt & anger in recognizing own prejudices & that of family Begin to recognize how much their lives & those of people of color have been affected by society’s racism Social pressure from friends & acquaintances to not notice racism may be powerful

17 Reintegration Feelings of guilt & denial may be transformed into fear & anger directed toward people of color Frustration over being seen as a group member rather than as an individual As meritocracy is facilitated by individualism, questions about society & one’s accomplishments arise Tired of being “tested”.

18 Pseudo-Independence Greater awareness of institutional racism
Greater commitment to unlearn one’s racism Fear of speaking in groups w/ people of color due to fear of revealing white privilege Seek support of other White allies who are further along in this process

19 Immersion/Emmersion Redefinition of Whiteness Guilt & Shame fade
Involvement in White antiracist groups

20 Autonomy New identity of “whiteness” is incorporated into personal identity This positive identity energizes the individual to confront racism & oppression in their daily lives Open to new information & new ways of thinking about racial/cultural variables Reawakened sense of empowerment

21 Gender Identity Kohlberg (1966)
Sex-role identity (age 3) Sex-role stability (early childhood) Sex-role constancy (age 5)

22 Gay Identity Lewis (1979) Five Stages of Gay/Lesbian Identity Development
1_ Discomfort with heterosexual & patriarchal nature of socialization 2_ Labeling self as different from other men/women 3_ Becoming aware of gayness/lesbianism 4_ Finding and becoming involved in gay/lesbian community 5_ Educating self about gay/lesbian lifestyle

23 Three Groups of Lesbians Henderson (1979)
Ideological Lesbians Women who can be viewed as radical feminists for whom a lesbian lifestyle is politically correct Personal Lesbians Women concerned with establishing an independent identity who find homosexuality supportive of this goal and who view lesbianism as a choice Interpersonal Lesbians Women who find themselves involved with another women and who experience their involvement as a discovery rather than a choice

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