Racial and Ethnic Socialization

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Racialand Ethnic Socialization

Racialand Ethnic Socialization

Racialand ethnic discrimination and bias has been an important issue insociety throughout history. This has led to the perception that someraces or ethnicities are supper or better than other. This hascreated a perception that there is something wrong with belonging toa particular race or ethnicity. There are both formal and informalstrategies that have been adopted in the modern society to dispelthese myths. In the recent past, scholars have advocated for racialand ethnic socialization of children. The central rationale of racialand ethnic socialization is that communication to children abouttheir race and ethnicity will ensure that children are proud of theirethnicity. This is especially important among minority races andethnic groups since how they perceive their own identity has animpact on their life, including social life and academic performance.Additionally, racial and ethnic socialization will enable them facebarriers and stereotypes in the society by instilling racial andethnic pride (Hall, 2015).

Oneof the reasons why racial and ethnic socialization is essential isbecause of its impact on mental development of the child. Scholarshave associated it will positive mental health. Children who areconcerned about their ethnicity or racial identity are more likely todevelop mental problems. Additionally, studies indicate that childrenfrom minority races or ethnic groups who have inadequate protectivefactors against bias and stereotypes are more likely to developbehavioral problems. This is because lack of racial socializationwill result into negative racial socialization. Rather than beingproud of his race or ethnicity, the child is likely to gate himselfbecause of his race or ethnicity (Hall, 2015).

Studiesindicate that parents have an important role to play in the educationsystem. Enhanced parental involvement in education has a positiveimpact on academic achievement and competence (Banerjee, 2011).Additionally, children from racial or ethnic groups that haveexperienced discrimination have lower academic achievement andcompetence if proper measures to eliminate bias and shield them fromstereotypes are not effective. Involving parents in racial and ethnicsocialization of these children has positive impacts on academicperformance of the child. This will involve sharing theresponsibility of providing racial information to the children abouttheir races or ethnicity (Stevenson &amp Arrington, 2009). Sharingthis responsibility is essential in ensuring that childreninternalize and externalize behaviors as well as reduce depressionand psychological problems associated with racial barriers andstereotypes in the learning environment. However, there are somebarriers to sharing these responsibilities with parents. This is dueto difference beliefs and values held by individuals about race andethnicity. Generally, parent has a moral authority over the valuesadopted by their children. In some cases parent may have inadequateor wrong information or knowledge about race or ethnicity, which istransferred to their children. The school population is very diverse,while educators may have divergent racial and ethnic information.

Thus,it is difficult to generally state whether racial and ethnicsocialization is the responsibility of the parent or should be sharedbetween the school and parents. Nonetheless, both school and parentsplay an important role in ensuring that children are able to overcomethe challenges associated with racial and ethnic stereotypes. Despitethis, a challenge emerges when the foundation created by the parentdoes not correspond to the information provided in the learninginstitutions.


Banerjee,M et al (2011). “Racial/Ethnic Socialization and ParentalInvolvement in Education as Predictors of Cognitive Ability andAchievement in African American Children”. JYouth Adolescence.40(5): p 595-605.

Hall,G. N. (2015). MulticulturalPsychology.New York: Routledge.

Stevenson,H. &amp Arrington, E. (2009). “Racial/Ethnic SocializationMediates Perceived Racism and the Racial Identity of African AmericanAdolescents”. CulturalDiversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.15(2): p 125–136.

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