The extent to which one identifies with a particular ethnic group(s). Refers to one’s sense of belonging to an ethnic group and the part of one’s thinking, perceptions, feelings, and behavior that is due to ethnic group membership. The ethnic group tends to be one in which the individual claims heritage (Phinney, 1996). Ethnic identity is separate from one’s personal identity as an individual, although the two may reciprocally influence each other. 4 major components of ethnic identity:


·        Ethnic awareness (understanding of one’s own and other groups)

·        Ethnic self-identification (label used for one’s own group)

·        Ethnic attitudes (feelings about own and other groups)

·        Ethnic behaviors (behavior patterns specific to an ethnic group)





An individual’s identity as a multi-faceted human being. Identity is composed of other facets of social/cultural background. (aspects include such things as language preference, sexual orientation, age, gender, religion, social class, generation, and so on).





Identifying oneself by aspects of groups to which one aspires to belong (professional groups, etc.). Identity with such a group is a legitimate substitution for persons for whom ethnicity is not salient. Ethnic groups may also serve as a reference group, especially when members of the desirable group hold power and prestige within society (Sherif and Sherif, 1969).