Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Anju Kaduvettoor & Aimee-Nicole Adams & Nicholas Ladany
Racial identity is a dynamic sociopolitical construction and assists in the understanding of within-group differences of people of different races. Racial identity development is relevant to all racial groups and incorporates perspectives of a person's view of self with regard to his or her own racial group and other racial groups. Racial identity is an important construct because it is a more meaningful concept, and likely a better predictor of behavior, than racial group membership alone. In addition, the experiences of people of color are not homogeneous and have resulted in different meanings and attributions about being a part of a specific racial group. A number of theorists and researchers have attempted to define racial identity. Janet E. Helms described the construct as a sense of collective identity that is based on a perceived common heritage with a racial group. Helms integrated perceptions of self and others in her definition ...