Intraracial Conflicts: Self Inflicted or Imposed?

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Conflict Management Research Design and Methods 15 June 2010 LITERATURE REVIEW Intraracial Identity Conflicts: Self Inflicted or Imposed? The social identity of African-Americans is one that is considerably disregarded by society due to its unique and complex nature. The term social identity refers to a person’s sense of who they are based on their group membership(s). According to the Social Learning Theory created by Henri Tajfel, “the groups which people belonged to were an important source of pride and self-esteem.” Tajfel states that identity is formed in three stages: social categorization, social identification, and social comparison. According to Tajfel, social categorization is merely assimilating objects according to similar appearances. This process is also done in formulating groups based on association. The next step in the social identity process is social identification. In this process, an individual adopts his identity based on the group in which he belongs. Supplemental to this step, is an emotional element that is linked to the individual’s self-esteem. The last step according to Tajfel is social comparison in which groups compare themselves to other groups to support their self-esteem. Upon researching the social identity theory process and the factors needed in order it for it to take place, questions are raised. Can social identity theory explain the African-American identity? Are intraracial identity conflicts self inflicted or imposed? The complexity of these questions is rooted in both quantitative and qualitative research since the social identity theory will be tested by using intraracial conflicts among African-Americans. Subsequently, the variables tha... ... middle of paper ... ... later Black, Afro-American, and lastly African-American. Identity is one of the most important stages of human growth and development. According to Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development, the challenges of stages not successfully completed may be expected to reappear as problems in the future. If one is constantly recreating an identity that has been given to them, how are they ever to move forward? Another reason for researching African-American identity is to expose and find solutions to intraracism. This course of action is just the beginning to understanding the aliments that plague black communities such as black on black crime, punishment and drug and physical abuse. Understanding the identity seems like the first logical step in which all other areas of intraracial conflict can be understood and eventually solved. Word Count

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