Ethnıc Identity and Its Relation with Stigma and Stereotypes Essay

Ethnıc Identity and Its Relation with Stigma and Stereotypes Essay

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Until the beginning of Geographical Discoveries, colonization have become an unstoppable condition. Many European countries invaded other continents and enslaved people by using their lack of technology and cultural accumulation. To justify their invasions and massacres, the Europeans created an idea that black people and other ethnic groups, who live in America and Africa continent, are ‘inferior’ to their ‘superior’ nations. This era have lasted nearly 4 centuries and effects of this long time did not disappear suddenly. All the things which were imposed by imperialist countries to colonial nations and even to their own people are still influential. Even those colonial countries- such as Nigeria, South Africa and all other African countries- now have their independence, the ‘superior’ nations of that time see them inferior just like at the colonial times and they even still feel inferior because of what happened at that time. Moreover, the imperialist countries and their citizens formed a general concepts about other ‘inferior’ people to simplify and categorize them at that era and after a long time these generalizations started to show themselves as ‘stigmas’ and ‘ stereotypes’. All these ideas and concepts have a huge negative effects on these colonial nations- especially blacks- and above all, they affected their identity formation. Buchi Emecheta’s ‘Second Class Citizen’ is a very obvious example of the relation between ethnic identity and stigmas, stereotypes and historical events. By using Buchi Emecheta’s book, this essay will discuss that how stigmas, stereotypes, and historical events have an effect on ethnic identity by the help of some specific perspectives and approaches in sociology.
According to Erving Goffman (...


... middle of paper ...


...eotypes may affect a person’s psychology and more importantly his/her feeling about his/her ethnicity. At this point, it is important to know that stigmas, stereotypes and historical background of social experiences have an ineligible effect and relationality on formation of ethnic identity and ‘habitus’ concept and ‘cognitive approach to stereotypes’ are very useful to examine and understand this relation and effect.



Works Cited

1. Bourdieu, P. 1986. Distinction, trans. R. Nice. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul
2. Emecheta, Buchi. 1994. Second Class Citizen. Harlow: Heinemann.
3. Goffman, Ervin. 1963. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. London: Penguin.
4. Hinton, P. R. 2000. Stereotypes, Cognition, and Culture. Hove, East Sussex: Psychology Press.
5. Lawler, Steph. 2010. Identity: Sociological Perspectives. Cambridge: Polity Press.

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