Development of Ethnic Identity

Development of Ethnic Identity




Development of Ethnic Identity

Ethnic identity refers to the identification of individuals as one by sharing their identity through religion, geographical location and culture, among other characteristics. Individuals come from different backgrounds, and some of these individuals grow up knowing their ethnic identity. In other cases, individuals do not get a chance to familiarize themselves with their cultural identity. This paper aims to examine the development of ethnic identity. The development of ethnic identity occurs in different stages. In the first stage, Individuals may or may not have found their cultural identity. This stage is referred to as an unexamined ethnic identity. It involves a state of uncertainty for those seeking to discover their identity. Some who have been able to find their ethnicity might still not explore them.

Others have developed an attitude towards exploring their ethnic identity (Phinney, 1993). The second stage of the development of ethnic identity is ethnic identity search. This stage demonstrates the pursuit of finding ethnic identity by individuals. In this stage, individuals may remain in the first stage until they find themselves in a situation that causes them to explore their identity (Phinney, 1993). This stage allows individuals to seek assistance about their cultural identity from various sources. Individuals tend to remain in this stage for a more extended period because they are seeking answers concerning their identity. Ethnic identity achievement is the third and final stage in the development of ethnic identity. In this stage, individuals are in apposition to resolve conflicts based on their findings on their ethnic identity. They are also able to be open to other cultures. Individuals in this stage embrace their ethnic identity, and they become confident with them.


Phinney, J. S. (1993). A three-stage model of ethnic identity development in adolescence. Ethnic identity: Formation and transmission among Hispanics and other minorities, 61, 79.