Socialization is the process by which we develop values, habits, attitudes, and our understanding of how to function in the world of the social group into which we have been born. As we understand this process, we will realize how we acquire our views about race. One of the ways racism affects us, all of us, is by shaping our identity. Please read Understanding Racial-Ethnic Identity Development; and watch “A Call to Men” from TEDWomen:
The notion of race is a socio-historical concept based on arbitrary meanings that help construct the idea of the “other” and racial labels that reflect societal attitudes and perceived group differences. These differences vary from one society to another, and change over time generating a process called racial formation, best exemplified in the United States by the idea of “whiteness.”
“Ethnicity” is best understood as the dynamic, evolving process between identity and culture in individuals. Ethnicity is the product of the actions taken by an ethnic group (ex. Latinx, Chinese, Arabic) as they shape and reshape their definition of culture and the influences of social, economic, and political processes.
- Complete the Racial-Ethnic Identity Worksheets from Sandra Chapman Consulting that represent how you identify.
- Think about the systems in which you are embedded and how they have contributed to your own socialization cycles.
- What feelings come up as you explore the Identity Worksheet?
- Have a conversation with a friend or family member about racial and ethnic identities and the way you have been socialized to think about your own and others’ ethnic identities.
- Listen to or read the narratives of personal experiences in families and communities related to racial and ethnic identities on embracerace.
- Explore the short films that portray contemporary Native Americans by Matika Wilbur in Project 562: Changing the way we see Native Americans.
- Read about Gloria Anzaldua’s identity development and the synergy between her Black and Latina identities in Bridging Beyond Binaries: Painting Gloria Anzaldúa by Angela Yarber.
- Read a two-page article that explores the connection and difference between race and ethnicity: The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.