Understanding Race and Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity play a pivotal role in our lives, informing how we see ourselves and the world. Communities built around racial and ethnic identity can offer internal sources of resilience. But these parts of our identity may also have adverse social implications, influencing our chances of receiving quality medical care, getting a job offer or a loan, or being wrongly stopped by the police. Despite the social significance of race, the clusters of common physical characteristics and the labels we use to describe it can change greatly over time. Ethnicity, meanwhile, may correspond with cultural practices such as the foods we enjoy, the languages we speak, and how we worship.

Recent posts on Race and Ethnicity

A Law Enforcement A.I. Is No More or Less Biased Than People

By Matthew Hutson on January 17, 2018 in Psyched!
When does it make sense to rely on algorithms?

MLK: Expanding Compassion to All Brothers and Sisters

 “I am moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart.”

Purely Symbolic and Without Substance?

By The Research Lab on January 15, 2018 in The Fundamentals
Using racially coded language.
With permission from Inner City Books

An Interview With the Late Jungian Analyst Edward Edinger

By Pythia Peay on January 13, 2018 in America On The Couch
"America is a kind of advanced laboratory for the world...We are the one nation that on principle has turned itself into a microcosm of the world."

Stigma, Psychopathology, and President Trump

Virtually everyone experiences a decline in fluid intelligence after about 70 years on the planet.

Empowering Students of Color (Part 7 of 8)

Authors Thompson and Thompson share strategies from their book Yes, You Can!: Advice for Teachers Who Want a Great Start and a Great Finish With Their Students of Color.

Media Coverage Can Change Minds

Identifying as American may be a key factor in how you respond to coverage of Trump's policies.

Why Do Diversity Programs Fail?

By Mona S Weissmark Ph.D. on January 09, 2018 in Justice Matters
Why do diversity and sexual harassment programs fail? When people are made to feel ashamed or are blamed and forced to change, they will lose their desire to change.

Nightmares in African Americans

By Patrick McNamara Ph.D. on January 07, 2018 in Dream Catcher
Although recurrent nightmares are likely to be prevalent among African Americans, there are few or no studies of nightmares in this population.

Discrimination: Is It Me or Is It Them?

It is common to blame yourself for discrimination. But discrimination is not your fault.

Writing Women Into Psychology

Women and people of color were underrepresented relative to men and white people in a sample study of social psychology textbooks.
Arthur S. Siegel/Library of Congress

Is Inequality a Person Problem?

How do we explain inequality?

"Is That Your Child?" Stories of White Moms of Biracial Kids

By Tiffany McLain LMFT on January 03, 2018 in Living Between Worlds
When Leah walked into a hardware store with her infant, she didn't expect that her maternity would be questioned, but for white mothers of biracial kids, society pulls no punches.

Racism Found In Everyday Encounters

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on January 03, 2018 in Am I Right?
Racism of white nationalists is obvious; the racism of well-intentioned whites is mostly obscure, at least to white people.

Men’s Intersectional Relationship to Male Privilege

Have you been wondering how to be a better ally to women? Building your awareness is a good start.

2018 Predictions: Best if We Don't Count on Them

Empowering ordinary Americans in 2018 requires fighting overconfidence.

A Cultural Necessity: The APA's New Multicultural Guidelines

By Mariel Buque M.A. on December 28, 2017 in Unpacking Race
New multicultural guidelines for the APA.

When Does Close Become Too Close?

By Lawrence T. White Ph.D. on December 27, 2017 in Culture Conscious
Everybody knows Italians have smaller “personal bubbles” than Americans, right? Well, maybe not. A new study examines interpersonal distances in 42 countries.

Did the Election of a Black Man Inadvertently Harm Women?

The backlash against Barack Obama has turned toxic.

Why Did Diversity Become a Bad Word?

"Diversity" is one of the seven words banned by the Trump administration. But research indicates that diversity can benefit everyone.

Congress Needs to Take Immediate Action on DACA

Identifying ways to move forward on DACA is a bipartisan concern. Without congressional action, the Administration will begin a phase-out of DACA on March 5, 2018.

A Gameplan for Combating Oppression

How work on race can inform efforts to combat class divisions.

Religion and Mental Health: What is the Link?

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on December 18, 2017 in Talking About Men
A growing body of research indicates that religious belief and practice can promote good mental health, as well as foster recovery from mental illness.

Tired of Arguing About Politics, Race, or Social Policy?

By Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. on December 14, 2017 in Laugh, Cry, Live
Tired of arguing about politics? You may even be dreading family or social gatherings this holiday season. But you can build bridges, not walls, with compassion and warmth.

What Role Does Dehumanization Play in Human Cruelty?

How are we supposed to square the humanizing conception of those targeted for oppression with the dehumanizing and othering tendencies that feed the motivation to oppress?

Imposter Syndrome and Fear of Failure

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on December 10, 2017 in Trust
When we feel like the token minority, it's not surprising that we fear being uncovered as a 'fraud.'

Global Mental Health Challenges and Remedies in Chicago

By  Stevan Weine, M.D. on December 07, 2017 in Cafes Around the World
Are there global mental health problems in our university's backyard?

America’s Mission Statement Is Our Light Against Bigotry

By Rupert W Nacoste Ph.D. on December 06, 2017 in A Quiet Revolution
America's mission statement is "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." Here's how you can use that light to stand up against everyday bigotry.

How Culture Affects Depression

By Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D. on December 06, 2017 in Between Cultures
The meaning and symptoms of depression can vary around the world. So can the ways people cope with it.

Judicial Notebook: Racism in Jury Deliberations

In October 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard two cases that explore the extent to which racial bias can be remedied when it infects jury deliberations.