Sample Psychology Essays on Ethnic Identity and Social Identity

Identification of a person in a given community, culture, nation, or language gives an individual a sense of belonging and self-assessment. Social identity is determined by factors like social division of work, differences between  ranks  and responsibilities, the socialization procedures, dissimilarities of cultures, as well as individual’s interrelations with  other  communities  and  groups. Ethnic identity lies within the social structures including the culture, religion, nationality, and language.

According to Tajifel (n.d), social identity is a person’s sense of who they are based on their group membership(s). An individual is able to relate himself or herself to a particular group according to their affiliation. The social groups comprise of classes, family, territorial community, ethno-national group, nationality, public movement, country or the humanity in general (Balich & Mukha, 2014). Social identity makes an individual to feel responsible towards their social groups as well as providing group protection in a community. Ethnic identity is the  awareness  of  oneself  as  a  representative  of  a  certain  ethnos  and  culture  based  on  the  identification with them and differences from other ethnic groups while adopting the ethnicity and turning it into the ethnic identity (Balich & Mukha, 2014). Basically, an individual is able to associate himself with a specific ethnic group that separates him from the rest. Ethnic identity is conditioned by political, economic, and cultural social interests of an individual.

Intuitionism is the ethical principle that moral values and duties can be known directly to an individual through intuition. These morals are self-evident and requires no additional knowledge. For instance, a person knows that lying is ethically improper, without being taught. Subjectivism, on the other hand, is the doctrine that there is no truth outside an individual’s experience. Truth is subjective and solely depends on one’s mind and experience. What is considered true to a person, may be considered differently to the other based on their encounter with the event. Trans-subjectivism is the philosophy that relates truths subjectively and objectively, regardless of the individual’s experience.

Ethnic identity and social identity enhances an individual’s relation with others in the community and defines the criteria for self-assessment. Ethnic identity is based on the structures of social identity including culture, nationality, and language. Intuitionism is the inherent knowledge about morals; subjectivism is the doctrine that bases truths on individual’s mind and experiences while trans-subjectivism is the subjective and objective doctrine.



Balich, N. L. & Mukha, N. V. (30 Dec. 2014). The Ethnic Identity in the Social Identity Structure of the Residents of Belarus and Russia. Canadian Center of Science and Education. Retrieved from

Tajifel, H., (n.d). Social Identity and Intergroup Relations. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from