Racial Identity Development
Which stage best represents your current racial/cultural identity development, using one of the models discussed in class.
Under the Racial and Cultural Identity Model, there is focus on five different stages (i.e. conformity, dissonance, resistance / emersion, introspection and integrative awareness). This is also called the Hispanic-American Identity Development Model. The one which best represents my identity is resistance and emersion. This is because it questions standard beliefs and often contributes to challenging these ideas using a number of techniques. The most notable include: questioning why someone should be ashamed for who they are, sociological / psychological forces associated with discrimination, extreme anger at cultural oppression, the rejection of the main ideas from contemporary society and members of the dominant group are viewed with a sense of suspicion.
In this case, I feel that the system will often seek to oppress someone who is challenging standard beliefs. This causes me to focus on the way an individual is impacted by these attitudes and how it influences them. Once this occurs, is when I have a better understanding of what is happening and the way this will impact their behavior.
Which experiences have led you to this stage of identity development? Use personal examples to illustrate different stages/statuses of your racial/cultural identity development.
The experiences which have shaped this stage of development are focusing on past experiences. They are based upon how racial attitudes are embraced and the long-term impact they are having on stakeholders. For instance, in one situation I seen someone who is of Latino decent by being associated with the traditional stereotypes (i.e. they worked menial jobs and lacked any kind of education). This made me feel a sense of anger, as he was someone who supported himself through law school. Once he became older is when, people still embraced these attitudes in spite of the fact that he had his own law firm.
In many different ways, I began to reject these views. This is because I felt that they were attempting to place people into specific categories. Yet, they did not fit and were capable of doing many of the same things better than others who are from the majority.
Another situation occurred when I seen an African-American who was good at ice hockey. Many people felt that he should not be playing the sport and needed to play basketball. This angered me, as I felt that each person should have the ability to choose their own destiny and decide for themselves what worked for them.
As a result, my views were transformed by these experiences by realizing that people do not fit into a single category. Instead, it is up to the individual to determine their own lives and what mattered the most to them. When this happened, I began to connect with the person and feel a sense of pride in the process.
What are the implications of this for you as a future counselor?
The implications of these events are that I realized I need to have greater amounts of flexibility in working with clients. This means that I have to understand how these issues will influence racial perceptions and their long-term impacts on the way someone reacts to various events. I feel that once someone takes these attitudes, is the point they can be more effective in understanding how these perceptions will influence their attitudes.
This helps to identify specific areas of resistance and offer support to the individual. When this happen, I can overcome negative beliefs and begin to have a positive impact on the individual. This enables them to have a break through by connecting with someone who understands what they are going through. Once this occurs, is when I can more effectively understand their situation and offer solutions which empower them. This changes their state of mind and it builds a strong bond between the counselor / patient.
Racial / Cultural Identity. (n.d.)
Cripin, C. (2014). Social and Cultural Identity.
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