Racial Identity/Development

Topics: Racism, Sociology, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 7 (2458 words) Published: September 16, 2012
The Introspection of Racial Identity Development

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The main purpose of the paper was to reflect the changes in the racial identity development during the course of history. The assignment was aimed to achieve several tasks: to analyze the impressions and responses to the interview; to trace back the causes of the negative reactions on some questions; to reflect the story of the Racial Identity Development, as well as elaborate the ways of racism confrontation within and outside oneself. The analysis was based on the processing of different print, and internet sources, the core part of which was made by the books of Adams Blumenfeld “Readings for Diversity and Social Justice” and Michelle Alexander “The New Jim Crow”. During the research, we faced with the main challenge as it was necessary to abstract yourself from all the stereotypes and prejudice, in order to find the causes of the personal concerns and adequately assess oneself on the scale of the Racial Identity Development. Key words: oppression, racism, Racial Identity Development, identity distortion, stereotype, prejudice. The Introspection of Racial Identity Development

According to Adams Blumenfeld (2010), individual identity is the product of many factors, such as individual psychology, physical state, gender, age, sexual orientation, social class, ethnicity and religion. Each of the mentioned factors can declare itself in different forms of oppression: ableism, ageism, classism, sexism, religious oppression, racism. In the modern society that we call civilized, racism appears to be one of the most urgent topics. Nowadays, the conception that racial discrimination brought the oppressed people down to a lower position in many spheres of social life is widespread. Even though, the positive changes have been done, this situation remains the same: the discriminated suffer from social isolation, poverty and are frequently “invisible” in the official statistics. Even the fact that we have the courses devoted to this issue affirms once again that the oppression problems, which we have to deal with, still exist. This course was beneficial as it made me review my beliefs, actions and attitude towards society and my role in it. I was not confident whether I would not feel ashamed in my own face while sounding prejudiced or racist in the taping assignment. However, after listening, my initial feeling was a pleasure and relief. Not all of my initial answers, of course, would be still the same, but at least now I understand in what cases I was ruled by stereotypes and prejudice, and where my personal concerns take their roots. I would not say that I was surprised by my answers, but there were some responses that made me review my personal biases and their roots. I was quite upset to hear my responses to questions about the potential neighbor or employee’s characteristics where I mentioned his sexual orientation. Although I considered myself open-minded and unprejudiced, I had some struggles with my attitude to sexual minorities. Now I realize where this preconception originates. I was grown up in the homophobic society where hatred and resentment towards homosexuals were strong. I did not have an aversion for sexual minorities, but I acknowledged that I was still influenced by stereotypes and ascribed stereotypical traits in assessing a person as an individual. If take into consideration tolerance to sexual minorities, as well as tolerance to people of color in the society, it becomes obvious that they both receive harsh attitude and often find themselves in unfavorable conditions, which limit access to education, employment, medical service (Burgess, 2003). After listening to the interview, I am aware of the concerns and biases, which is already the first step to the positive identity development, and I also understand that changing stereotypes is mainly the job of an...
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