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Racial Cultural Identity Development Model Term Paper

Pages:2 (714 words)



Topic:Cultural Identity

Document Type:Term Paper


Racial/Cultural Identity Development Model

There are five distinct stages found within the racial/cultural identity development model. These stages include conformity, dissonance, resistance and immersion, introspection and integrative awareness. Not all individuals of a racial/cultural minority experience all of these stages -- some stages can last considerably longer than others and it is possible for people to vacillate between stages. However, the initial stage is conformity to the behavior, norms, and values of a dominant culture on the part of an individual who is a racial or cultural minority. The individual identifies with the dominant culture and wants to fit into it and perceives himself as though he were a part of this dominant culture. It is not uncommon for people to experience shame and negative feelings about both themselves and their minority racial/cultural group in this stage.

The next stage is dissonance, which is a crucial stage because it is the point at which an individual begins to disassociate himself or herself from the perception of the dominant group's cultural and racial values. Frequently, the dissonance stage is actuated by an experience involving one person or others within a minority's own minority group, which causes that person to see others of the same group actually experience pride and a positive sense of identity in their group. During this period one questions one's previously held beliefs during the conformity stage.

In the resistance and immersion stage the individual wantonly rejects his previous views in the conformity stage, and immerses himself in the values and culture of his or her minority group (Pruyn, 2011). During this stage one may feel negative feelings about the prejudice one might have put up with during the conformity stage. As such, individuals deeply entrench themselves within their own culture. The introspection stage is distinct from the previous stage in that most of the anger and feelings of negativity are replaced by a desire to actively question and think about what it really means to be a part of their minority group. In doing so, the individual is actually looking to better define his or her identity (Baden, 2002, p. 167) within the context…

Sample Source(s) Used


Baden, A.L. (2002). The psychological adjustment of transracial adoptees: an application of the cultural-racial identity model. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless. 11(2), 167-191.

Pruyn, P.W. (2011). Identity development models. Developmental Observer. Retrieved from

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