With increased rates of migration into the United Sates, it has become imperative to seek the most appropriate approach of enhancing co-existence among the Americans. For many years, migration of people from other nations forming the minority groups in the United States has been so pronounced such that the issue of Cultural (ethnic) identity should be confronted head on as it affects the daily lives of the Americans.
Ethnic Identity Effects
The issue of ethnic identity helps to ask and the question, “who am I?” Though a psychological construct, ethnic identity is a basic part of an individual’s ethnic personality. It is a powerful contributor to the formation and maintenance of ethnic groups and social ties (Bernal & Knight, 1993).
With the diversity of the American population, the use of ethnic identity (such as Afro-American, Spanish-American, Italian-American, and German-American) has become a sense of pride for the minority group (Chávez & Guido-DiBrito, 1999). Ethnic identity has helped the minority not only regain their pride as Americans, but it has also helped them trace their roots. With such an identity, the minority value their background while appreciating their current position as Americans. Since ethnic identity is a psychological process of defining self, it’s an effective tool of facilitating re-socialization (Cross, 1995). With an identity reminding you of dual personality, one becomes obliged to respect others. All citizens realize and accept multiculturalism of their society propelling them to live cautiously else they hurt others.
However, amidst its positive roles, ethnic identity can trigger conflict among people of different backgrounds (Chávez & Guido-DiBrito, 1999). Culturally immature people can use it as a tool of stereotypy consequently triggering enmity. For example, the Caucasians may feel proud of being the majority and unceremoniously address the minority group by their ethnic identity intentionally to hurt. There is a need of enlightening the society on how to use the ethnic identity as a tool of cohesion as opposed to division.