Racial Identity Models Models of racial identity

Racial Identity Models Models of racial identity help us understand that the status of racial identity (for both counselors and clients) can influence the career development intervention process at several levels. For example, Atkinson, Morten, and Sue (1989, 1993, 1998) describe five stages of racial identity development, each with corresponding counseling implications: (a) conformity, (b) dissonance, (c) resistance and immersion, (d) introspection, and (e) synergistic articulation and awareness. Individuals in the conformity stage adhere to the dominant culture’s value system, including its perception of racial/ethnic minorities. Their self-perceptions, as well as their perceptions of others, are viewed through the lens of the dominant culture. They tend to deny the existence of racism and discriminatory treatment on the part of the dominant culture and have a strong desire to " assimilate and acculturate" (Atkinson et al., 1993, p. 29). Moreover, their attitudes toward members of their own group may be very negative. In other words, individuals in the conformity stage may experience feelings of racial self-hatred as a result of cultural racism. Because of their strong identification with the dominant culture, individuals in the conformity stage may express a preference for a career counselor from the dominant culture. In the career development inter- vention process, they may display a high level of compliance and a need to please the counselor. Atkinson et al. (1993) suggest that these clients are likely to present career concerns that are most amenable to career development interventions focused on problem-solving approaches. Individuals often move gradually into the dissonance stage, but the occurrence of significant events can serve as a catalyst for propelling a person into the dissonance stage. In either scenario, the process of moving into the dissonance stage typically occurs when the individual in the conformist stage encounters a person or situation that runs counter to conformist-stage beliefs (e.g., when an Asian American in the conformist stage, and thus adhering to negative stereotypes regarding the Asian culture, encounters a person who expresses pride in her Asian heritage, or when an African American in the conformist stage experiences racism on a personal level). In such instances, information is acquired that suggests alternative views toward the culture of our gin (e.g., that there are positive aspects in cultural traditions, values, and customs) and the dont- in culture (e.g., certain behaviors and practices in the dominant culture are discriminatory) Such information causes denial to break down and opens a window to further identity development. Specifically, individuals moving from conformity to dissonance may increasingly engage in self-exploration regarding self-concepts, and identity. self-esteem, and group affiliation (Atkinson et al., 1989). Career development practitioners working with individuals in the dissonance stage need to have a thorough understanding of the individual’s culture of origin. Individuals adhering to beliefs and attitudes reflecting Atkinson et al’s (1989) third stage of racial identity development, resistance, and immersion, tend to reject the views and values of the dominant culture. They express a complete endorsement of the views and values of their culture of origin. In addition, their resolution of the confusion experienced in the dissonance stage often leads to intense anger as they become more aware of racism and how it has impacted their lives. Sue and Sue (1990) note that as individuals begin to question their feelings of cultural shame, they often experience guilt and anger for having " sold out in the past and contributed to his/her own group’s oppression, and anger at having been oppressed and ‘brainwashed’ by the forces in the dominant society" (cited in Atkinson et al., 1993, p. 31). Individuals in this stage often view oppression as the primary source of their career development concerns. Atkinson et al. suggest O w NDJI

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