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IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT STAGES

LESS PRIVILEGED/ MINORITY IDENTITY MORE PREVILEGED/ MAJORITY IDENTITY


(GAY/TRANSGENDER/OUTSIDERS ETC) (MALE, HETEROSEXUAL, BEING NATIVE, ETC)

Stage 1 – Unexamined Identity Stage 1 – Unexamined Identity


Is characterized by the lack of exploration of Individuals may be aware of some cultural
identity as it is still at an early stage. differences, but they do not fear the other or
At this stage, individuals may simply lack think much about their own identity as they
interest in identity issue and/or minority group are the majority.
members may initially accept the values and Example: A normal heterosexual child maybe aware of
attitudes of the majority culture. the differences regarding their transgender friend but
it doesn’t bother him/her as there are lots of normal
Example: A transgender child - when he/she friends around him/her.
realized that they are different from others but
accepting the majority culture.
Stage 2 – Acceptance towards minorities
Stage 2 – Conformity/ Compliance towards majorities
There is a strong desire to blend in into the
Involve passive or active acceptance.
dominant culture. The passive acceptance stage – Individual at
Individuals at this stage may have negative
this stage usually take one of the two
feelings towards both themselves and their
positions with respect to interactions with
groups. minorities:
This stage often continues until they encounter
1. Avoid contact with minorities but
a situation that causes them to question the didn’t discriminate them.
attitudes of majority culture – why is it so hard
2. Adopt a supporting attitude from
for the majority to accept them as a far.
transgender? The active acceptance stage – have conscious
of their privileged position and may express
Example: A trans named Tasha at Read their feelings of superiority collectively. At
Advertising. this stage, a normal person didn’t mind
hanging out with transgender friends.

Stage 3 – Resistance and Separatism Stage 3 – Resistance


Many kinds of events can trigger the move to It involves a move from blaming the minority
this stage. for their condition to blaming their own
This includes name calling, discrimination and dominant group as a source of problems.
meeting with someone who exhibits a strong Passive resistance – little behavioural change
identity to his or her group. to support the minorities.
Example: A child transgender tries to blend with the Active resistance – trying actively to reduce,
majority by adapting the appropriate dress and manners eliminate, or challenge the policy that
but still getting discrimination from majority and thus
separate him/herself to be with other transgender. oppress minorities.
*How about the situation here in Malaysia?
Stage 4 – Integration Stage 4 – Redefinition
Individuals who have reached stage 4 have a The more Privileged/The Majority begin to
strong sense of their own group identity refocus or redirect their energy toward
(whether positive or negative). refining their identity in a way recognizes
In stage 4, they realize that cruelty, and their privilege and works to eliminate
oppression that occurs to them can be directed oppression and inequities.
in more positive ways. Example: As a normal being, I am proud to be
Example: In the US, the transgender are who I am, but I don’t think that means I have
becoming more closer with each other and to put down my transgender friends.
getting more stronger after being oppressed by
the majority. *Again, how about the situation here in
Malaysia?

Stage 5 – Integration
In this final stage, majority group individuals
now are able to accept their increased
awareness.
They not only recognize their identity as a
majority, but also appreciate other minority
groups.