Racial of education, neighborhood, religious and familial communities

       Racial and ethical
identity are both very important components to the total framework of an
individual and collective identity. When focusing on minority groups in other
countries such as the United States, racial and ethical identities are exposed
in acutely judicious ways. These contradictory practices are generated through
social and cultural influences. To begin with, the immersion of traditions and
culture through the means of education, neighborhood, religious and familial
communities are deep-seated in a positive logic of individual and ethnic
identity. Furthermore, individuals often are driven to filter ethnic identity through the various
forms of media messages as well as the negative tenues from others based solely
upon race and ethnicity. The information stated above affirms that individuals
with a minority status are disproportionately at a considerable disadvantage
within a society. Groups such as white Americans, for example, charter racial
and ethnic identity in manners that are inadvertent through the means of their
behaviors, assumptions and beliefs. This is by the virtue of societal standards
being built upon values, priorities, ethical, racial and cultural framework as
they refer to the unification of cultures in Standard America and not solely
the identity of ethnicity. This is visible every day in the life of an
American, through their behaviors and attitudes. Remarkably most of the
minorities culture and norms are hardly ever installed in distinct identities
that align with ethnicity. Nevertheless, this paper addresses that
multicultural framework and ethnic identity are very imperative, for learners
within the learning commonwealth.
Therefore, this essay examines legitimate racial and ethnic identity literature
to a substantial comprehension in what manner evaluates adult learning.

            The paradigms
of race and ethnicity in America are much too abstruse to define and frame.
This is a topic that is extensively discussed in psychology, literature theology
and philosophy amid other fields hence having experts come up with different interpretations
making the distinction of expressions more difficult (Harris 2). The identity
of race itself is commonly misunderstood, some get it from social perspective
while other understand it from a biological perspective in which the quality of
gene pools, physical characteristics, and the quality of personality defines an
individual (Spickard 14). By exploiting these distinctive characteristic
features, Europeans categorize persons hierarchically by physical abilities and
ethical qualities, with Caucasians being superior followed by Asians and lastly
Africans and Native Americans at the base of the ethnic ladder. However, if we
look past the characteristic features, racial groups have more affinities than deviations.(Littlefield,
Lieberman, and Reynolds 35). Yet, todays definition of the social perspective
is the most prevalent (Helms 3). People identify themselves different from one
another based upon their skin color and in most cases it is this specific
feature that plays a considerable part in how certain persons are handled. As a
result, distinguishing ethnicity displays a social contrast or difference, but
in actuality skin color identifies a person within a society which ultimately
serves as an identity card. A group defined by color share norms, cultures and
often times an origin in which they can be informed about themselves and in
some cases about other persons (Yinger 200). Assuming that consciously or
unconsciously individuals identify themselves within a group of people in which
they feel as though they share some form of a collective connection of parallel
values, traditions, beliefs and behaviors. These segments form a connection between
people in a signifying manner which allows them to proudly know who they are as
individuals as well as a collective group therefore finding the world around
them to be meaningful. Contrarily, there are some instances where an individual
feels ashamed and disconnected when they identify with a specific group
especially in cases where adverse ethnicity is evident thus giving adverse
public messages the capacity to prevail. Therefore, ethnic distinctiveness
expands the ability for an individual to move in the direction of a
considerable conscious affinity with their cultural values, traditions, beliefs
and behavior. The racial and ethnic identity models suggest a theoretical
conclave for individuals to comprehend and appreciate their interposition and
that of varying cultures as well. Models and theories of racial and ethnic
identity progress have steadily advanced in the last two decades, due to people
beginning to accept that the United States is racially and ethnically diverse.
In addition to this, there are an abundant amount of social and psychological
theories that attempt to define the “self” and they concur that the term and
concept of self is delicate to determine (Evans, Forney, and Guido-DiBrito 84;
Helms 57). This concludes that both the psychological and cognitive structural
models are in fact phase models that acknowledge growth in a stepwise
evolution, whereas up-to-date models characterize racial and ethnic identity to
be a lifelong measure.

The original objective of these models was to constitute
that the reality of the black experience in the United States is declared. One
of the original examples of these models is Cross (1971) in which he displays a
fit black developing starting as a non-Afrocentric then develops to Afrocentric
and ultimately multicultural distinctiveness. This evolution implicates persons
moving from total ignorance of race via recognizing the black culture in its
totality in order to commit to various cultures in addition to acknowledging
all oppressed groups matters. Cross’s model is a very critical component of the
delineation ethnic identity as a form of a vibrant development, it prompts a
group of persons in a distinct ethnic group and others as it acknowledges
ethnocentric and multiculturalism frames. Nonetheless, the primary weakness of
Cross’s model is that he begins with blacks being unaware of the race of others
as well as of their own race before they experience or become aware of
identity. Parham (1989) is another model of race and ethnic identity. For him,
racial or ethnic identity progression is a lifelong cycle that is continuous
for blacks. His theory proposes that persons, experience state of emotions such
as anger towards whites that progresses to the development of absolute black
reference frame. Correspondingly, through these means objective racial identity
and bicultural realizations are achieved. Parham transmits white people
directly to the black identity in such a way that blacks move from unconscious
to conscious. This goes on to affirm that when blacks oppose Western culture
and or the adverse treatment received from others due to the differences in
colors, they establish awareness or self-consciousness of racial identity.
Ultimately, Parham’s model endorses a sense of development or advancement. In
addition, it displays that there is an evolution from unconscious to conscious
in correlation to racial identity. The flaw of tis model is its assurance that
the fundamental cause of racial identity development is the display of racial
difference that cannot be bypassed. To some extent, we acknowledge the
principal trigger for separable racial identity is the assurance of one’s own
racial devolution as well as a group of a racial self through the means of
entanglement.  Next is Helms (1993-1995)
who is accredited for the development of a model on the white racial identity.
The model she developed presumes that the presence of individual, cultural and
institutional racism accepts white superiority. In point of this, she presents
that the stages are a limiting factor considering that an individual is
adequate enough to be in more than one definitive stage at a particular time.
The initial three standings clearly framework how a white individual evolves
and dissociates themselves from a frame of racism early before they discover a
non-racist identity as whites. The influential aspect of this model is its
emphasis on racial identity development as it strongly depends on interracial
exposure. Still, its weakness is the mere fact that it does not distinguish
between a non-racist frame development and racial identity development leading
to disorientation. Helms provides evidence that whites racial identity revolves
around their perceptions, feelings and behaviors towards black persons rather
than development and consciousness of an authentic white racial identity.

The Cross, Parham and Helms models of racial
identities each discuss and dispute self-racial recognition and a relation
between racial consciousness of others. Therefore, it is apparent that every
individual’s self-awareness of racial and ethnic identity is vital.
Additionally, how we perceive and look at others plays an imperative role in
development and consciousness. This is also another model that primarily
focuses on what family and community teaches persons about their cultures.
Thus, concluding that there can be no form of ethnicity without shared
language, culture, religion and geography. Moreover, persons of one ethnicity
are united by strong loyalty, proximity and kinship (Torres 85). Elements that constitute learned
culture include symbols, rituals and behavior that patent themselves from
elementary values, beliefs and assumptions (Ott 127). Therefore, commonalities
that are accustomed within a distinct group are specified by models of identity
development. These three concepts are what I have discussed as the concept’s
representative. Walking Stick Garrett and Garrett (1994) give a expressive or
descriptive model of the Native Americans identity and worldview. They suggest
a number of elements of the Native American ethnic value and perspective which
comprise of the meaning of tribe, spirituality, harmony, balance and humor. For
example, elders are considered to be the most fundamental members of Native
Americans as they are highly honored and used as a reference by members who
seriously identify with their culture. Therefore, Native American individuals
become more useful to their community as they grow older because they are
considered to have collected much wisdom that they are able to share with
others in the tribe. Walking Stick Garrett and Garrett’s model is useful in
making accessible logic of communal structures and patterns of the Native
American’s values, identity and worldview. Moreover, they correlate each native
component with major culture and discuss how cultural engagement supports the
Native identity development. However, it is important to realize that each
ethnic population can have its own disparities which at times are very vast,
hence all the models mentioned above are only guidelines to some
characteristics in which ethnic identity manifests itself. Katz (1989)
identifies fifteen distinct values and perspectives in identifying white
American culture in her descriptive and evocative model of ethnic identity and
worldview. This is transmitted from a notion of time that is linear and guarded
as a service or product, to a win-loss alignment that is linked to the
competition rate. White American individuals seems to value and reward
independence and autonomy. More so, Katz states that individuals in this class
and or with these believes mention that they cannot understand shared culture or even relate to others (Katz
1989). Personally, I find the model to be objective as it does not reckon the
idea that all whites were born racist. It does not address the stages that
whites go through to shape an identity in ethnic line. Furthermore, this model
does not discuss activators of ethnic identity consciously. Phinney (1990) introduces
another model that she deems is better than the rest as she believes that it
can pertain to all groups. Phinney explains that every ethnic group has disparities
that come about due to their membership within a group that is not dominant and
so this must be resolved. Before all else, groups that are less dominant within
a society must resolute the stereotypes and prejudices of the white population
that is dominant against individuals of the non-dominant group which therefore
leads to the creation of a dangerous notion of self-concept. Secondly, the proposed
value system clash with the non-dominant and dominant groups is important since
it gives the minority group the ability to discuss bicultural value systems and
organizations. This model is favorable in that it is able to recognize definite
consciousness triggers as well as outlines that face ethnic self-concept.
However, it lacks an analysis of positive critical component of the assimilation
into an individual’s culture. Additionally, the aim of the issues outlined
depend on the cultures stability. It is difficult to understand how the
environments of education are deeply affected by our racially and ethnically
demarcated sense of self, of learning and of education. Complications arise for
many minority and international adult learners when they attempt to transfer
learning settings that were built in an ethnic base of values, beliefs and
behaviors and also a different way of doing things. Regrettably, these racial
and ethnic indicators are sometimes unintentionally applied by educators and
peers in the process of learning making them problematic to examine, identify
and modify. Those, educators should make an aim to make what is believed to be
invisible to be visible in their position as educators within the learning
environment. In addition to this, educators have the ability to establish
practices that fit in multiculturalism. Also, multiculturalism’s method of
doing this varies due to knowledge, style and perspective which must be
included in a multicultural learning environment. Furthermore, a strong
learning community should have the ability to honor, support and challenge
every learner despite there contributions or uniqueness. Racial and ethnic
identities thus have an imperative influence to the relationship between individual
learners and a learning environment. In many cases, white children obtain an
education that cements their ways of life and culture. Therefore, these
students don’t get the chance to learn about other cultures which makes it more
difficult for them to embrace an educational environment that thrives with
multiculturalism. This being said for education to be of great value, it is
vital to create learning environments that accommodate and respect diversity.
These can be achieved by designing collaborative and individual tasks, that encourage
reflective and discussion activities, and employing visual, written, relational
and various types of learning styles (Gardner 286). Curricula and activities
must be visible and conscious to multiculturalism in order to involve a
diversity of worldviews and knowledge bases. Educators, should also consider
the relationship between the present cultural activities and practices in
different communities as well as how an effective learning community is
defined. In many instances, educators would feel comfortable if they had
established a setting that maintained their own norms while ignoring
multiculturalism. It is also hard to ignore that different experiences learners
present to the learning environment depend upon their cultural and ethnic
identities. This becomes a major factor that affects a learning environment.
Most minority and international members bring forth experiences of having to
negotiate educational treatment of negative and lowed expectations,
invisibility stereotyping, hostility and survival (Ott 72). Therefore, these
individuals obtain the ability to give an objective observation and compare
different cultures. Lastly, educators can build beneficial communities of
multicultural learning by teaching in rational and self-sharing ways and
encouraging and offering multiple points of views. Additionally, educators
should assistant learners better possess the essence of cultivating
multicultural skills and understanding as it predominantly fuels and
strengthens the learning experience.