Minority Identity Development Model

- PRE-ENCOUNTER STAGE--Individuals are programmed to
   perceive and think of the world as being non-minority or anti-
   minority and act in ways that devalue their minority development.
- ENCOUNTER STAGE--Individuals begin to gain awareness of
   what it means to be minority, and they begin to validate
   themselves in terms of minority identity.
- IMMERSION STAGE--Individuals reject all nonminority values
   and fully immerse themselves in minority culture.
- INTERNALIZATION STAGE--Individuals develop a secure and
   self-confident minority identity and are also comfortable expressing
   preferences and interests for experiences from non-minority cultures.


Majority Identity Devleopment Model

- PRE-EXPOSURE STAGE--Little thought has been given to
   multicultural issues or to one's own role as a majority group member
   in a racist and oppressive society.
- EXPOSURE STAGE--The individual is confronted with the realities
   of racism and prejudice. He or she is forced to examine his or her
   own role as a majority group member. In this examination, it is learned
   how the European-American view has been taken for granted as the
   "proper" (only) view. Anger and guilt arise. Anger because it has always
   been assumed that past ways of conceptualizing the world have been
   thought to be fair and just. Guilt because the person realized his or her
   naive acceptance of the "fairness" view, and that he or she has been
   fostering subtle racism.
- ZEALOT-DEFENSIVE STAGE--One of two reactions: Become a
   zealot for minority causes or become defensive about majority view
   and perhaps even withdraw from finding out about multicultural views
   altogether. In becoming a zealot, the person is reacting to his or her own
   --or the majority culture's collective--guilt. It tends to be other-focused
   rather than self-focused. In becoming defensive, the person either
   attempts to have contact with majority culture individuals, or he or she
   tries to defend majority culture values by pointing out all of the
   "concessions" made by the culture to minority cultures.
- INTEGRATION STAGE--The overly strong feelings of the Zealot-
   Defensive Stage subside, and a more balanced view takes its place.
   Instead, a deeper appreciation of one's own culture allows one to have
   a secure, self-confident identity, allowing for appreciation of other
   cultures. One is able to accept differences both intellectually and


Atkinson et al.'s Racial/Cultural Identity
Development Model

- Stage 1--Conformity
- Stage 2--Dissonance and Appreciating
- Stage 3--Resistance and Immersion
- Stage 4--Introspection
- Stage 5--Integrative Awareness


Helms' White Racial Identity Development Model

1. Contact Status--oblivious to and unaware of racism
2. Disintegration Status--conflicted over irresolvable racial moral dilemmas
3. Reintegration Status--regression to White superiority and minority inferiority
4. Pseudoindependence Status--painful or insightful encounter or event that
   jars the person from the reintegration status
5. Immerion/emersion Status--an increasing willingness to confront one's
   own biases
6. Autonomy Status--values diversity, is no longer fearful, intimidated, or
   uncomfortable with discussions of race, and is active in seeking
   interracial experiences


Cass's (1979) Gay and Lesbian Identity
Development Model

- Stage 1--First awareness. Identity confusion.
- Stage 2--Awareness. Identity comparison. Alienation from others.
- Stage 3--Identity acceptance. Transition from tolerance to acceptance.
- Stage 4--Identity integration. Identity pride and synthesis.


Biracial Identity Development Model (Poston, 1990)
- Stage 1--Personal identity. Identity independent of ethnic background.
- Stage 2--Choice of group categorization. Pushed to choose one group of
   orientation. Factors of influence (from Hall, 1980): (1) status; (2) social
   support; (3) personal.
- Stage 3--Enmeshment/denial. Confusion & guilt over having to choose
   one ethnicity over the other. Self-hate.
- Stage 4--Appreciation. Beginning to appreciate multiple identity &
   broaden their RGO.
- Stage 5--Integration. More fully appreciated multicultural identity and


Multiracial/ethnic Identity (Root, 1990, 2003)

- Acceptance of the identity society assigns. Passive resolution of identity
   status. May be positive, but often is tenuous.
- Identification with both racial groups. Active resolution of identity status.
   May be idealistic but not available in certain parts of the country.
- Identification with a single racial group. Active resolution of identity status.
   Again, may not be available in certain parts of the country.
- Identification as a new racial group. Strong kinship to other biracial persons.
   positive resolution if the person is not trying to hide or reject any aspect of
   his/her heritage.
- Symbolic racial group. Hyperdescent identification, only recognizing one's
  racial heritage intellectually.


Twine (1996)

It was strange to try to be black and it was strange to try to be Jewish . . . In
the time period around junior high shcool, I was really ashamed of being black.
I couldn't relate socially to the kids that I knew were black. I didn't talk to
them. . . . Like every other adolescent, I was interested in [romantic]
relationships with girls. It was hard when I [was attracted to] white girls
because I had to think about my racial identity . . . and that affected my
ability to enjoy my social life. . . . but we didn't date black girls.

My change in racial identity . . . came since I've been in college. My desire to
live as an African American came first as a personal need and then as an
intellectual thought. When I got here, it was like a switch. . . . At 18 years old
you get to start over with who you're going to associate with. . . . What is it
like to live as a black person? I think living as a black person . . . well,
personally it is being around black people. That's my personal definition. It's
that almost all of my friends are black. My girlfriend is black. I've only dated
black women since I've been in college.

And my mom was wondering "[When] are you going to date a white person?
. . . She feels hurt because she sees me identifying with my African American
cultural heritage . . . especially when we have a conversation about who I'm
dating, and almost everybody I bring home is black. Almost everybody. And all
the pictures on my wall. Almost everybody is black. . . . Something that I
noticed when I told [black students] that [my boyfriend] is Puerto Rican is
that I had to back it up with "He's Afro-Puerto Rican." He "acts black" and
"looks black," too.

return to resources