Ethnic Identity And Cultural Identity

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Ethnic identity much like racial identity is difficult to clearly discern and delineate. As a social construct, it is an umbrella term that mark a group affiliation to a common origin, culture, religion, or geography; it consists of shared traditions, behaviors, values and beliefs. (Waters, 1990) Outlining the elements and components of ethnic identity, Phinney and Ong (2007) stress its multidimensionality and dynamism, it encompasses several cultural, linguistic, behavioral features as well as being developmental and involving a shifting process. They consider self-categorization, commitment, and sense of attachment to the group as vital constituents of ethnic identity. They show that “the process of ethnic identity formation involves the construction over time of one’s sense of self as a group member and of one’s attitudes and understandings associated with group membership” (2007, p. 275) Exploration and commitment are the two head titles in the revised model to measure the formation of identity across different groups (MEIM-R, Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure). The model proposes a set of questions that capture the individual’s overall knowledge, understanding, engagement, sense of belonging and attachment to the social group.
Minority groups in general have to encounter and deal with two fundamental conflicts due to their identification with the non-dominant group: first, stereotyping and prejudice of the dominating group which problematize their self-image. Second,
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