ETHNIC GROUP AND ETHNIC IDENTITY
Ethnic Group is
a group of individuals having a distinct culture or a subculture in common. The idea of
ethnic group differs from that of Race
because it implies that values, norms,
behaviour and language are the important distinguishing characteristic, not necessarily
physical appearance. Ethnic groups are thought of as minority
groups within another culture.
is an individual's awareness of membership in a distinct group and of commitment to the
group's cultural values.
Ethnic identity is the
subjective aspect of ethnicity, but for many people their ethnic heritage has little
subjective meaning although it can be objectively determined.
Ethnic Identity, Ethnic
Attitudes, Self-Esteem, and Esteem toward Others among Estonian and Russian Adolescents -
Aune Valk, University of Tartu
Ethnic identity in relation to self-esteem and esteem toward others, along with attitudes
toward ones own and other ethnic groups, was examined among Estonian and Russian
Significant differences appeared
across components of ethnic identity and between minority and majority groups. Positive
feelings about the in-group ethnic pride were associated with positive attitudes toward
other ethnic groups among minority but not majority youths. Strong ethnic differentiation,
in turn, was associated with negative out-group attitudes among both groups and positive
in-group attitudes among the majority group. This contrast between aspects of ethnic
identity appeared also in relation to self-esteem and esteem toward others. Whereas ethnic
pride was associated with positive esteem toward others, ethnic differentiation correlated
with negative evaluation of other people. Self-esteem correlated negatively with ethnic
differentiation and was not related to ethnic pride. The salience of ethnic pride and
ethnic differentiation may vary across different ethnic groups, depending on the group
status and historical background of identity development.
Moderates Perceptions of Prejudice: Judgments of Personal Versus Group Discrimination and
Subtle Versus Blatant Bias - Don Operario, University of California, San
Francisco, - Susan T. Fiske, Princeton University
Two studies investigate the association between ethnic identity and perceptions of
prejudice. Study 1 examined the relationship between ethnic identity and the
personal-group discrimination discrepancy among ethnic minority and White respondents.
High-identified minorities reported increased personal vulnerability to discrimination and
less personal-group discrimination discrepancy, whereas less-identified minorities
conformed more to the personal-group discrimination discrepancy phenomenon. Whites also
reported more personal than group discrimination, but ethnic identity did not moderate
this effect. Study 2 examined minorities perceptions of prejudice in an interaction
with a White confederate, who displayed either obvious or subtle prejudice.
High-identified minorities showed stronger reactions to subtle prejudice than did
low-identified minorities, who tended to overlook subtle prejudice. The authors relate
findings to principles from stigma research, social identity, and self-categorization
theory and suggest that ethnic identity can explain why some minorities perceive prejudice
when others do not.
Procedural Justice and Social Regulation Across Group Boundaries: Does Subgroup
Identity Undermine Relationship-Based Governance? Yuen J. Huo, University of
California, Los Angeles
The relational model of authority suggests that people are inclined to accept the
decisions of ethnic outgroup authorities when they identify with a superordinate category
they share with the authority, and when the authority satisfies their relational justice
concerns. Using responses from a random sample of African Americans, Latinos, and Whites
about their cross-ethnic interactions with legal authorities, the findings indicated that
those who are highly identified with the superordinate category of America indicate
greater reliance on relational concerns and less on instrumental concerns when evaluating
the authoritys decision. In contrast, identification with ones ethnic subgroup
did not moderate the linkage between relational concerns and acceptance. Across all ethnic
groups, there were positive rather than negative correlations between measures of American
and ethnic identity. Together, these findings indicate that subgroup identity does not
undermine the relational basis of social regulation and that relationship-based governance
is compatible with multiculturalism.
Stages of Ethnic Identity Development in Minority Group Adolescents
Jean S. Phinney, California State University, Los Angeles
Stages of ethnic identity development were assessed through in-depth interviews with 91
Asian-American, Black, Hispanic, and White tenth-grade students, all American born, from
integrated urban high schools. Subjects were also given questionnaire measures of ego
identity and psychological adjustment. On the basis of the interviews, minority subjects
were coded as being in one of three identity stages; White subjects could not be reliably
coded. Among the minorities, about one-half of the subjects had not explored their
ethnicity (diffusion/foreclosure); about one-quarter were involved in exploration
(moratorium); and about one-quarter had explored and were committed to an ethnic identity
(ethnic identity achieved). Ethnic-identity-achieved subjects had the highest scores on an
independent measure of ego identity and on psychological adjustment. The process of
identity development was similar across the three minority groups, but the particular
issues faced by each group were different.
The Ethnic Identity, Other-Group Attitudes, and Psychosocial Functioning of Asian
American Emerging Adults From Two Contexts - Linda P. Juang, Yunghui Lin,
San Francisco State University , Huong H. Nguyen, Brandeis University,
Drawing from two samples of Asian American emerging adults, one in an
ethnicallyconcentrated context (n = 108) and the other in an ethnically-dispersed, mainly
White context (n = 153), we examined (a) how ethnic identity and other-group attitudes
were related to psychosocial functioning (i.e., depression, self-esteem, and connectedness
to parents) and (b) how these relations were moderated by context. Results (direct
effects) indicated that ethnic identity predicted more positive functioning in terms of
self-esteem and connectedness to parents, whereas other-group attitudes predicted more
positive functioning in terms of self-esteem and depression. Furthermore, moderated
effects indicated that the links with other-group attitudes did not vary with context but
that the links with ethnic identity did. Ethnic identity was linked to more positive
functioning in terms of depression and connectedness to parents only for those in the
ethnically-concentrated context. These findings demonstrate how different types of
functioning are differentially influenced by ethnic identity and other-group attitudes and
by the contexts in which these identities and attitudes are embedded.
Initial Investigation of Jewish Early Adolescents Ethnic Identity, Stress,
Eric F. Dubow, Kenneth I. Pargament, Paul Boxer, Nalini Tarakeshwar, Bowling Green State
Ethnic identity was examined as a source of stress and as a coping resource among Jewish
sixth through eighth graders (N = 75). Over 50% of the students reported having
experienced various ethnic-related stressors in the past year (e.g., being restricted from
activities due to the Sabbath, experiencing anti-Semitic comments). Jewish early
adolescents also endorsed ethnic and religious coping strategies from three coping scale
factors: Seeking Gods Direction/Support ("I ask God to forgive me for the
things I did wrong"); Seeking Cultural/Social Support ("I look forward to the
Sabbath"); and Spiritual Struggle ("I start to wonder whether God can really do
everything"). Components of ethnic identity were related positively both to
ethnic-related stressors and coping strategies, indicating that although high levels of
ethnic identity might heighten Jewish adolescents sensitivity to ethnic-related
stressors, ethnic identity might serve also as a resource for coping with those stressors.
Toward the Theoretical Measurement of Ethnic Identity
Phillip O. Pegg, Western Kentucky University, Laura E. Plybon, Bethel College
The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric qualities of two theoretical
subscales of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM), Ethnic Identity Exploration
and Ethnic Identity Commitment, that have been supported in research with early adolescent
samples. The study was conducted to further validate the MEIM as a two-factor measure of
the theoretical constructs of ethnic identity exploration and ethnic identity commitment.
This study was conducted with 134 African American girls residing in a southeastern city.
Psychometric support was found for the use of a subset of items derived from the MEIM that
assesses the constructs of ethnic identity exploration and ethnic identity commitment.
Discussion regarding the psychometric quality of the two-factor model is presented.
Ethnic Identity and Its Relation to Self-Esteem and Ego Identity Among College
Students in a Multiethnic Region - Yuh, Jongil - Abstract: This study
investigated the role of ethnic identity in psychological adjustment. A sample of 209
college students in a multiethnic region completed questionnaires on ethnic identity,
self-esteem, and ego identity. The results indicated that ethnic identity was positively
related to self-esteem, especially with the affirmation and belonging component among
Japanese and Filipino American students, and with the ethnic identity achievement
component among multiethnic students. The overall relationship between ethnic and ego
identities was positive, particularly in ethnic identity achievement scores. The
combination of strong ethnic identity and a positive attitude toward other groups was
related to advanced ego identity. Ethnic identity was different among ethnic groups,
revealing that the development of ethnic identity is interactive in social contexts.
Suggestions for future research and implications for multiculturalism are discussed.
The Impact of Multiple Dimensions of Ethnic Identity on Discrimination and
Adolescents' Self-Esteem - Romero A.J.; Roberts R.E. - Journal of Applied
Social Psychology, Volume 33, Number 11, 1 November 2003
Abstract: The rejection-identification model is investigated with multiple dimensions of
ethnic identity in a sample of Mexican American youth. It is hypothesized that more
perceived discrimination will be associated with higher ethnic identity in general, but
that the multiple dimensions of ethnic identity will be associated differentially with
discrimination. Higher perceived discrimination will be associated with more ethnic
exploration and less ethnic affirmation. Self-report questionnaires were completed by
middle school students of Mexican descent (N = 881). Based on structural equation
modeling, the data were found to fit the rejection-identification model (p < .05).
Higher discrimination was associated with lower ethnic affirmation (p < .05) and lower
ethnic exploration (p < .05). Post hoc analyses indicated a significant interaction
between discrimination and ethnic affirmation (p < .01) such that youth with high
ethnic affirmation who experienced high discrimination still reported high self-esteem.
The findings are discussed in the context of understanding methods of coping with
prejudice and discrimination that will enhance the mental well-being of minority youth.
Racial and Ethnic Identity: Their Relationship and Their Contribution to
Renee Goodstein, St. Francis College, Joseph G. Ponterotto, Fordham
This study explores the relationship between racial identity, ethnic identity, other-group
orientation, and self-esteem among 126 Black and 292 White students. Pearson
product-moment correlations for Blacks revealed that those holding anti-Black and
pro-White attitudes showed low ethnic group attachment, whereas those with internalized
attitudes showed high ethnic attachment. There was no relationship between ethnic and
racial group attachment among Whites, but a significant relationship was found between
racial identity and other-group orientation. Multiple regression analyses for Blacks
indicated that racial and ethnic identity explained a significant proportion of the
variability in self-esteem. The results for Whites indicated that racial and ethnic
identity variables did not contribute meaningfully to the variance in self-esteem. Two
orientations to multicultural work-visible racial-ethnic group and salience models-were
introduced and discussed in light of the results' implications for research and practice.
The Assessment of Ethnic Identity in a Diverse Urban Youth Population
Antronette K. Yancey, Carol S. Aneshensel, University of California, Los Angeles
Anne K. Driscoll, University of California, Davis
This article examines the assessment of ethnic identity in a multiethnic, probability
sample of urban adolescents using the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM). The
concept of ethnic identity captures the incorporation of ethnicity into self-perception,
providing a pivotal link to the social psychological consequences of minority status. A
more generalizable psychometric examination of an instrument used extensively in research
on African American youth to capture this phenomenon is warranted. This investigation
seeks to identify revisions of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure that would render it
more useful for interethnic and intraethnic comparisons, utilizing a sample more
heterogeneous and representative than those of prior studies. Item and exploratory factor
analyses indicate that 10 of 14 items can be combined into a short form (MEIM-S) that
measures aspects of this phenomenon that are comparable across ethnic groups, and identify
two factors. In general, Whites score significantly lower than African Americans, Asian
Americans, and Latinos, whose scores tend to be similar to one another, consistent with
the literature on interethnic variation in the salience of ethnic identity.
From Ethnic to Interethnic - The Case for Identity Adaptation and
Young Yun Kim, University of Oklahoma, Norman
The academic literature for the past several decades suggests an increased tendency to
conceive "ethnic identity" as an a priori and morally inviolable human condition
exclusively attributed to a social group identified by birth or ascription. Paralleling
this trend is a gradual shift toward a more pluralistic ideology of interethnic relations
and toward a greater emphasis on political activism in social research. In this historical
context, the article identifies two interrelated problematics in the prevailing
pluralistic conceptions of ethnic identity: positivity bias and oversimplification. These
problematic aspects are examined against the well-documented individual and situational
variations in ethnic identity. As a way to counterbalance and complement the pluralistic
conceptions, a theoretical account for the process of identity transformation is offered.
This dynamic theory highlights the experiences of many individuals who, through their
communication activities of crisscrossing ethnic boundaries, have moved beyond the
perimeters of a single ethnic category in their identity orientations.
The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM): Psychometric Review and Further
Joseph G. Ponterotto, Denise Gretchen, Thomas Stracuzzi, Robert Saya, Jr., Fordham
University-Lincoln Center, Shawn O. Utsey, Howard University
This article examines the psychometric strengths and limitations of a widely used measure
of ethnic identity development: the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM). A review of
12 studies incorporating the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure found its two subscales,
Ethnic Identity (EI) and Other-Group Orientation (OGO), to be relatively distinct, have
satisfactory levels of internal consistency, and have moderate degrees of construct and
criterion-related validity. The first confirmatory factor analysis (N=219) of the
Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure is reported, the results of which indicate that a
two-factor structure is a better fit than a global model but that the goodness of fit is
mediocre. A follow-up exploratory factor analysis identified weaker items, and suggestions
for possible MEIM revision are presented. Finally, the first formal readability analysis
of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure places item difficulty at the sixth- to
A Validity Study of Scores on the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure Based on a
Sample of Academically Talented Adolescents - Frank C. Worrell, The
Pennsylvania State University
This study examined the validity of scores on the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure
(MEIM) in a group of 275 academically talented adolescents attending a summer enrichment
program. The two-factor solution reported by Phinney was essentially replicated with this
sample using exploratory factor analysis. Factor I (Ethnic Identity) scores had a
reliability coefficient of .89, and Factor II (Other Group Orientation) scores had a
reliability coefficient of .76. Although the replication of Phinneys results
provides supportive evidence for the factor structure of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity
Measure, the instrument would benefit from work on its psychometric soundness,
particularly as ethnic identity is hypothesized to be related to many important variables
Language and Ethnic Identity: An Overview and Prologue
William B. Gudykunst, Karen L. Schmidt, Department of Communication, Arizona State
The purpose of this essay is to overview the study of language and ethnic identity. The
general role of language in social categorisation and the influence of social
categorisations on language attitudes, as well as the specific influence of ethnic
identity on the microsociolinguistic, macrosociolinguistic, and social psychological
aspects of language use, language attitudes, sociolinguistic stereotypes, ethnolinguistic
vitality, and speech accommodation are reviewed.
Why Are Latinos the Most Uninsured Racial/Ethnic Group of US Children? A
Community-Based Study of Risk Factors for and Consequences of Being an Uninsured Latino
Glenn Flores, MD, Milagros Abreu, MD and Sandra C. Tomany-Korman, MS
BACKGROUND. Latinos continue to be the most uninsured racial/ethnic group of US children,
but not enough is known about the risk factors for and consequences of not being insured
in Latino children.
The objective of this study was to identify the risk factors for and consequences of being
uninsured in Latino children.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted of parents at urban, predominantly Latino community
sites, including supermarkets, beauty salons, and laundromats. Parents were asked 76
questions on access and health insurance.
Compared with insured Latino children, uninsured Latino children had 23 times the odds of
having no regular physician and were significantly more likely not to be brought in for
needed medical care because of expense, lack of health insurance, difficulty making
appointments, and cultural barriers. Uninsured Latino children are significantly more
likely than insured Latino children to have no regular physician and not to get needed
medical care because of expense, lack of health insurance, difficulty making appointments,
and cultural barriers.
Discourses about ethnic
group (de-)essentialism: Oppressive and progressive aspects - Verkuyten M.
Abstract: Social psychologists studying intergroup perceptions have shown an increasing
interest in essentialist thinking. Essentialist beliefs about social groups are examined
as cognitive processes and these beliefs would serve to rationalize and justify the
existing social system. Discourse analyses on racism have emphasized that problems of
racism are to a large extent problems of essentialism. Anti-essentialism has emerged as an
emancipatory discourse in the challenge of hegemonic representations and oppressive
relations. The present study examines how, in group discussions, ethnic Dutch and ethnic
minority people define and use essentialist notions about social groups. Both Dutch and
ethnic minority participants engaged in an essentialist discourse in which an intrinsic
link between culture and ethnicity was made. However, there were also examples where this
discourse was criticized and rejected. This variable use of (de-)essentialism is examined
in terms of the conversation's context and issues at hand, such as questions of
assimilation, group provisions, cultural rights, and agency. The main conclusion of this
paper is that essentialism is not by definition oppressive and that de-essentialism is not
by definition progressive. The discursive power of (de-)essentialist group beliefs depends
on the way they are used and the context in which they appear.
Ethnic Identity and Ethnic Attitudes.