Essay On Ethnic Identity

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Ethnic identity begins to develop in an individual when that individual is of early adolescence. There are many models that illustrate this process, some of which are described within this paper. Many theorists have chosen to make this topic their topic of study, including Erik Erikson, James Marcia, and Jean Phinney. Each of these theorists used the models of previous theorists to construct their models, so although they all share several similarities, they are each different in their own way. The transition between elementary school to middle school can affect the way that adolescents mature mentally and cause them to think more about their identity and where they fit in the world. The development of an individual’s personal identity usually…show more content…
Ethnic identity development greatly influences adolescents’ achievement, self- concept, and behavior towards any situation. An adolescent will usually begin to show their ethnic and racial…show more content…
Phinney proposed that early adolescents who haven’t been exposed to issues caused by ethnic identity fall into the first stage of her model. This is referred to as a diffused or unexamined ethnic identity, and is characterized by an adolescent’s lack of exploration of ethnic issues. A lack of concern or disinterest in ethnic issues manifests a diffused level of identity. This led to Phinney’s belief that early adolescents give ethnicity little thought, or may simply not be interested in the topic.This does not define all adolescents, though. Some may have made a commitment without having undergone a period of exploration on the basis of ethnic attitudes that may have been inherited by parents, friends, or other influential adults in an adolescent’s life. The attitudes of these adolescents represent a foreclosed status. Judith Bachay suggested that adolescents in these two statuses are at risk of internalizing or accepting faulty and negative beliefs and

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