Free Ethnic Differences and Coping with Trauma Essay Sample

Ethnic differences exist in all parts of the world ranging from the learning, economic and social interaction. The most common ethnic differences in America in the one regarding performance of students, the most fascinating and typical ones are the African Americans and Asian Americans (Mash, & Barkley, 2006). In other parts of the world, it has been found that different ethnic communities relate at times in a manner that create friction and sour relationship. This worsens when one of the minority groups are residing in a place where there are other majority groups (Perlmann, 1989). Friction is always created when the minorities seem to be excelling than the indigenous ethnic group. This results in unfair treatment in the part of the minor ethnic in relation to all aspects of life. This creates trauma and their life is changed completely and thereby forcing them to come up with ways that can enable to survive the challenges. This study is aimed at identifying ways in which people faced with the challenge of ethnic differences deal with the trauma that accompanies the treatment (Clauss-Ehlers, 2009).

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The history of ethnicity is never constant as one move from one society to the other because of different cultures that exist in the world. Any ethnic group can be majority in one part of the world and be a minority in some other part of the world. This also means that the treatment they are going to face is not going to be constant as they move from one part of the world to the other. One ethnic group may become hospitable to the minority while others may become hostile in the way they treat each other (McGoldrick, et al 2005). Those who may be treated with hostility do not always have a smooth life to live and they are faced with trauma of all kinds.

In the U.S for instance, ethnic minorities arise due to the immigrants who may come to live there. Some like majority of black from poor backgrounds and may live in the poorest suburbs (Osofsky, & Pruett, 2007). There is a great possibility that hostility will be encountered in the place of work. To make matters worse, their children will be treated unfairly in class resulting in poor performance and hostile behaviors. In various states, the traumas faced by the aggrieved groups have resulted violence development. In relation to whites, some of the minority groups in the U.S include the black immigrants, Hispanics, Italians, Jews, and the Irish among others (Billings, &Moos 1981). Understanding the ethnic differences in the United States is made possible by looking at the perspectives like the pre-migration history of the ethnic group, the conditions of migration, the level of discrimination that the group faces in the new environment, and the position that the group holds in the economy and the social stratification of that particular place (Figley, 1985).

Aims and objectives

The success of this study will depend upon the identification of concise research question that will guarantee the collection of data in the easiest way possible. The research question formulated for this study will be congruent with the aims and objectives, and will read as follows; how do ethnic minorities deal with the trauma the face from the majorities? In addition, this study will seek to identify the types of trauma faced by minority groups, the causes of the trauma, and the reasons for the treatment they receive from the majority ethnic groups (Billings, &Moos 1981).

Theoretical Framework

Besides the formulation of the research question, the success of this study largely depended on fact and writings by various authors relating to this topic. A number of authors have done their research and shared their thought on how the minority category of people deal with the trauma that they encounter as a result of discrimination for the majority ethnic group. Joel Perlmann in his book "Ethnic Differences: Schooling and Social Structure Among the Irish, Italians, Jews, and Blacks in an American City, 1880-1935," explores the causes of the differences in the schooling and the economic success of the minority groups like the Irish, Italians, Jews, and the blacks (Perlmann, 1989). He brings out a clear evidence collected from many students who have attended either public, Catholic, and private schools. He has done all the best to comb the American ethnic diversity in the fields of education, economic success, and social structure. It is through this book that we can be able to identify that ethnicity has a great influence in the success of a person in terms of economy and in class. This could be because of the treatment they face from the majority groups and the trauma that follows (Perlmann, 1989).

Caroline Clauss-Ehlers in the "Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology" has combined contributions from various psychological practitioners. Various concepts and themes have been investigated regarding the relationship between various cultures. The author for instance points out those negatively worded items have been found to create large problems within cultures (Clauss-Ehlers, 2009). In addition, we are able to understand that traumatic events that occur outside normal human experience create a lot of stress. The author also points out that culture influences the way individuals or groups respond and manage trauma they face from those who mistreats them. Culture also influences the healing process of those who are survivors of a mistreatment. Additionally, the author points out that Latino/Hispanics and Americans have shown high cases of avoidance as a way of coping with ethnic-based trauma. African Americans on the other hand have shown low levels of avoiding but show increased arousal signs (Clauss-Ehlers, 2009). The reason for the response the Africans could due to increased level of racial oppression and continued racism.

"Trauma and Its Wake: The study and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder" is book by Charles Figley who has spent his time discussing critical variables that affect the social psychology and interpersonal readjustment as a result of ethnic-based treatment. Charles for instance focuses on individuals with ethno-cultural identifications that result in the establishment of stress and subsequent traumatic conditions (Figley, 1985). The author stresses the point that it is important to understand how various individuals respond to trauma that result from ethnic-based treatment. This is aimed at devising possible ways and alternatives that can help them to recover and live normal lives. It is also through this book that we are able to understand how ethnicity might shape the intensity of trauma faced by a minority group. Additionally, the author calls everyone interested in helping victims of such trauma to recover to understand trans-ethnicity and other cultural behavioral norms (Figley, 1985).

In their book "Ethnicity and family therapy," McGoldrick, Giordano, and Garcia-Preto provides clinical references that could be used by various families as possible solutions to cultural and ethnic sensitive mistreatment and the consequent trauma. This has been made possible by demonstrating various ethno-cultural factors that influence the assumptions of the victims regarding their treatment (McGoldrick, et al 2005). Additionally, the authors have provided useful resources to therapist so that they can be able to use in helping victims who have ethnic-based trauma because of their few numbers. Stress and anxiety are pointed out as some of the symptoms and ways of coping up with such trauma. Other reactions pointed out include sadness, shame, helplessness, and aggression. Some individuals are also shown to isolate themselves as a way of coping up with trauma. The aggression has been seen to extend to the point of creating rigid family ties that makes someone unconsciously silent for a long time (McGoldrick, et al 2005).

"Young Children and Trauma: Intervention and Treatment," is a book by Osofsky and Pruett and provides interventions to counter the trauma on children because of the ethnic affiliations. Traumatize the authors point out that the children especially in school may be treated in a manner that may make them in one way or the other. This often results in changes in the behavior of the affected children from being high performing students to poor performers. They point out specifically the children of the minority blacks who may resort to use of drugs as a way of coping up with the stress. This thereby form a good base for parent and other willing therapist to provide solutions that may make the affected child return to normalcy (Osofsky, & Pruett, 2007). This book also identifies violence as one way that minority groups can use as a way of coping up with the trauma. They children have been to become violent to the majority groups and some of them have lost their in the event of the violence.

"Psychological trauma and the adult survivor: theory, therapy, and transformation" as authored by McCann and Pearlman describes the symptoms of the psychological trauma depicted by victims who have been ethnically mistreated. The authors have described various theories surrounding the psychological trauma and behaviors of victims perceived to be minorities (McCann, & Pearlman, 1990). The authors to those who have been ethnically sidelined and later traumatized also offer possible therapies. It is also through this book that we can be able to follow the sequential treatment of trauma in individuals because of victimization of their minority ethnic group. The best-illustrated example used by the authors is the one that results from child abuse and child labor. They are able to find a direct link of ethnically mistreated children and criminal activities. Children who are mistreated at their tender age by the other majority groups have been found to engage in crime related activities as a way of dealing with the trauma they undergo (McCann, & Pearlman, 1990). Children also encounter traumatic situations when individuals who are entrusted to care for them exploit sexually. This happens in home care centers where minority blacks are abused by their caregivers. Such children may resort to prostitution as way of coping with the stress.

In their book, "Suicide among racial and ethnic minority groups: theory, research, and practice", Leong, and Leach are to indicate that suicide has been increasing at alarming rates among the minorities who have been ethnically mishandled. (Leong, & Leach, 2008). This is seen as one way in which they are using in order to avoid other form of mistreatment in the future. The use of suicide is seen to intersect all psychological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors of the societies that have been ethnically sidelined. The authors point out that suicide may remain to be the most common and suitable ways in which minority groups who may feel sidelined will exploit in order cope up with the trauma. Research done by all established experts in multicultural counseling and suicidology have pointed out clearly that ethnic discrimination will remain to be the greatest catalyst of suicide. The authors of this book have spent their valuable to classify six broad categories of ethnically sidelined groups and the include African American, American Indian, Asian American, European American, Hawaiian and pacific islander, and the Hispanics (Leong, & Leach, 2008). By categorizing these groups, the experts are able to find their suicidal trends and thereby able to find appropriate treatment considerations.


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