Individual Identity

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Part one: To prepare for this Discussion: Personal Experience of Privilege and Stigma

  • Think about a situation in which someone experienced positive treatment due to privilege related to perceived racial or ethnic identity. The person that you select should be someone who is famous or infamous, such as an athlete, a politician, an actor, a musician, an historical figure, or someone who has been highlighted in the media.
  • Think about a situation in which someone experienced negative treatment due to stigma related to perceived racial or ethnic identity. Just as in the previous situation, this person should also be someone who is famous or infamous.
  • Consider how the positive treatment due to privilege and the negative treatment due to stigma would differ.

With these thoughts in mind: Post a description of a situation in which your chosen person experienced positive treatment due to privilege related to perceived racial or ethnic identity. Explain why the individual was given this privileged treatment. Then, describe a situation in which your chosen person experienced negative treatment due to stigma related to perceived racial or ethnic identity. Explain why the individual was stigmatized. Finally, compare and contrast how the treatment differed in the situation representing privilege versus the situation representing stigma.

Part two: To prepare for this Assignment: Double Consciousness and Avoiding Stigma

  • Review the podcast, Growing Up “White,” Transracial Adoptee Learned to Be Black. Gather your thoughts regarding the pros and cons of transracial adoption.
  • Reflect on how families involved in transracial adoptions relate to the concept of double consciousness.
  • Contemplate the advantages and disadvantages of covering and passing as a means of handling stigma related to race or identity.
  • Consider how race and ethnicity covering and passing can be used to both cause and resolve individual identity conflicts.

The Assignment (3–4 pages):

  • Describe the concerns held by both adoptive parents and adopted children in transracial families.
  • What other concerns would you add that were not discussed and why?
  • Explain how the concerns you discussed in the first two questions relate to the concept of double consciousness.
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of race and ethnicity covering and passing.
  • Address how covering and passing can be used to both cause and resolve identity conflicts for both transracial adoptees and in general.
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