Grada Kilomba: Dealing with Racism in Europe

Healthy Ethnic Identity Development: Questions

Questions Assessing Healthy Ethnic Identity Development

v To what ethnic group do you belong? What do you formally call your ethnic group? How much do you know about your ethnic group?  Where did you get the information? How much of your information was written by or told to you by members of your own ethnic group? Do those accounts vary from what your family told you? In what way?

v Does your family belong to more than one ethnic group?  Are you familiar with the history of all of those groups?  Why not? Are you interested in finding out more? How will you begin?

v How proud are you of your ethnic group?  Are there times you feel ashamed of your group?  If so, what triggers those feelings of shame?  What are the main ethnic stereotypes of your group?  How are you different from those stereotypes?  How are you the same?

v Are all of the members of your family the same  skin colour?  Do they vary in skin shade?  Do they vary in hair texture?  Do they vary in body type?  Does your family prize a particular body type or physical characteristic? Is there one body type or physical characteristic that is devalued in your family?  How did this happen?  What happens to the people in your family who have this characteristic? Has anyone ever been favored or abused because of certain physical characteristics? Have you ever had these experiences?

v Has anyone in your family ever expressed shame about your ethnic group? How did you respond?  How did others respond?  Has anyone ever confessed a racist or discriminatory act toward member(s) of another ethnic group? Does anyone use derogatory language toward members of your own ethnic group?  Has anyone ever been the victim of discrimination because they were members of your ethnic group?  Has anyone in your family ever experienced privilege because they belonged to your ethnic group? Have you ever had these experiences?

v Have you ever been rejected in personal relationships because you belonged to your ethnic group?  Has anyone ever accepted you solely because you were a member of your ethnic group?  Have you ever rejected a personal relationship because of the ethnic group of the person?

v Have you ever been a victim of racial discrimination?  Have you ever been a victim of racial harassment?  Have you ever been a victim of racial abuse?  Did you fight back?  How?  Describe that experience? Were you successful?

v Have you ever been a victim of racialized traumatic abuse? (victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, torture, imprisonment, because of your race or cultural group) Describe how you survived?  What helped to get you through this experience?

v Do you find yourself feeling prejudiced against certain members of your cultural group?  What are their characteristics?  Where did those feelings originate?  Why do you think they persist in you?  How do you benefit from this prejudice?  Do you want to change it?  Why?  Why not?

v How assertive are you with members of your own ethnic group when you do not agree with their point of view?  Are there ways in which you vastly differ from members of your ethnic group?  In what ways?  How did the difference evolve?  Have you ever been shamed for that difference?  Why?  Have you been valued for that difference?  Why?

v Would you date or marry someone outside your cultural group?  Why?  Why not?  Have you had romantic or sexual feelings toward members of another cultural group?  Have you ever acted on these feelings?  Why or why not?