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

Empowering Students of Color, Part 6 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.

The Mental Health Impact of 'Blame a Black Man Syndrome'

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Talking About Men
Data suggests that black men have high rates of wrongful conviction. This can ruin individual lives, creating fear and mistrust in black communities. This can damage mental health.

You Can't Be Mad At Your Mind for Having Unconscious Biases

By Elizabeth R Thornton on November 15, 2017 in The Objective Leader
You Can't Be Mad at Your Mind for Having Unconscious Biases You can be proud of yourself for overcoming your biases with the help of a Bias Transformation Worksheet

Making Space for White Mothers of Biracial Children

By Tiffany McLain LMFT on November 15, 2017 in Living Between Worlds
For white parents, having a biracial child is an eye-opening experience. It's time for society to make room to help these parents grow into their new roles.

Are Racial Microaggressions on College Campuses Harmful?

A new study of college students finds that psychological harm due to racial microaggressions are real and not explained by the personality trait called neuroticism.

American Bigotry: Now It’s Personal

By Rupert W Nacoste Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in A Quiet Revolution
Today we are seeing the panic that results when a sense of group superiority is no longer supported by legal social structures.
Altha Stewart, used with permission

A Historic Election

Is it about time?

The Psychological Roots of Trumpism

Downward Comparison Theory helps to explain some of Trump's unwavering support.

Doping Scandal Imperils Iditarod Sled Dog Race

By Mark Derr on November 07, 2017 in Dog's Best Friend
Dogs have hauled people and their goods around the Arctic for thousands of year. The snowmobile and airplane have nearly rendered them obsolete, except for racing.

Adolescent Identities and Our Biases

Are you wondering what it can mean to affirm adolescence? Let's talk about identities adolescents are coming to understand, and the biases that may be directed towards them.

Filipinos, Colonial Mentality, and Mental Health

By E. J. R. David Ph.D. on November 02, 2017 in Unseen and Unheard
Ever wanted some empirical or "scientific" data on colonial mentality and its psychological implications among Filipinos? Well, the efforts have begun and here is some basic info.

Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?

Moving to a new place can be alluring. But social connectedness is more important for your health than where you move.

"I'm Sorry If I Caused Offense": How Not to Apologize

By Joe Pierre M.D. on October 29, 2017 in Psych Unseen
Yuli Gurriel's apology for a racial slur was a pseudo-apology. Here's how to make it right.
twoofus

Boundaries: Where Do You Draw the Line?

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on October 29, 2017 in Fixing Families
Boundaries: Some folks are too rigid and inflexible, others are too soft and accommodating. How to find draw the lines that are just right for you.

Do Minorities Have Equal Access to All Emotions?

Where a person lies in the hierarchy set by society determines which emotions to express and which to suppress.

How Are African Americans Doing? II: Economics and Education

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on October 19, 2017 in Addiction in Society
In economics and educational opportunity, African Americans have barely been keeping pace in recent decades (if even doing that well), even as whites overestimate their status.

Examining the Link Between Racism and Health

There is a growing body of evidence that racial discrimination triggers a chronic stress response, leading to a variety of health problems.

The Reality of Whiteness

Why are some white people so reluctant to acknowledge racism and white privilege? Opening minds and hearts to the need for more progress.

Me Too!

The original questions of feminist psychotherapy have finally become public questions for us all. Why did it take so long?

What Does Identity Have to Do With Inequality?

Does identity explain inequality?

Don’t Just Blame Facebook for Fake News: It’s Us, Too

Is social media use a race to the bottom of our brainstems?

Empowering Students of Color (Part 5 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.

Taking a Stand When Taking a Knee

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on October 09, 2017 in Mental Mishaps
How we rewrite and romanticize memories of protests.

How Are African Americans Doing? I: Violence and Segregation

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on October 09, 2017 in Addiction in Society
African Americans' status has deteriorated over the last 50 years, while whites strive to isolate themselves from black problems. Liberals do so while denying this segregation.

Racism is everywhere…is it, really?

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on October 07, 2017 in Adaptive Behavior
Should some issues never be discussed because some ideas might lead to policies we don't like?

How Alienation Manifests in the Public Education System

Research examines dimensions of alienation in the lives of youth.

What Do Biracial People Have to Teach Us about the World?

By Tiffany McLain LMFT on October 04, 2017 in Living Between Worlds
In an increasingly polarized social and political environment, where black-and-white thinking prevails, multiracial Americans have valuable lessons to share.

Allegiance to What?

“Who” and “what” are we respecting when we proclaim our devotion to country? And who gets to say what our expressions of commitment – or non-commitment – "mean"?