Racial Ethnic Identity

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An issue in New Zealand related to society is racial-ethnic identity (REI), which is “the significance and meaning of race and ethnicity to one’s self concept” and is an important part of development in adolescents, specifically minority and indigenous adolescents and at schools (Webber, McKinley, & Hattie, 2013, pp. 17). Webber et al. (2013) wrote how society makes race be a powerful indicator of social status. This idea has created stereotypes in New Zealand, in which the stereotypes are contradictory. REI can be developed in schools because adolescents are seeing what society thinks about their identity. Data as shown how exposure to this negative “social mirror” affects academic engagement (Webber et al., 2013). The students who are indigenous or a minority will not be engaged and receiving a good education. This issue is significant in New Zealand because Pākehā, Māori, Samoan and Chinese adolescents face challenges based on their REI. Like I mentioned before, these four groups are understanding what society thinks of them at school so it affects their education. In Webber et al.’s study, they found that the most significant finding were the responses to the question “What are the negative thing about being a member of your racial-ethnic group?” and they were about discrimination, racism and stereotyping on all four groups. Pākehā included responses that their culture had a reputation of being racist, which in turn impact their self-identification negatively.
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