Ethnic identity concealment and disclosure: contexts and strategies

Dobai, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-7553-1832 and Hopkins, N., 2021. Ethnic identity concealment and disclosure: contexts and strategies. British Journal of Social Psychology. ISSN 0144-6665

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Acknowledgements: This research was made possible by a University of Dundee PhD studentship awarded to the first author.

Ethnic minority group members’ responses to their prejudicial treatment can take several forms. One involves identity concealment (e.g., ‘passing’). In order to understand such a response, we must explore participants’ understandings of the interactional context before them, their meta-perceptions of the identity others ascribe to them, and the varied meanings that identity concealment/non-disclosure may have in that context. Our analysis of interview data (N = 30) obtained with Roma in Hungary reveals diverse forms of, and motivations for, the concealment of their Roma identity. Some participants reported examples of proactive identity concealment, others reported more reactive forms (in which they went along with others’ mistaken assumptions concerning their identity). The motivations for identity concealment (whether proactive or reactive) included the desire to: secure material benefits; avoid conflict; take pleasure from seeing others’ assumptions blinding them to the reality before them; test (and expose) majority group members’ attitudes; allow themselves opportunities to experience the world in new ways. Our analysis highlights the importance of social identity researchers recognizing the diverse motivations for ethnic identity concealment: From the actors’ perspective concealment is not always assimilatory, and in some contexts can be experienced as empowering.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: British Journal of Social Psychology
Creators: Dobai, A. and Hopkins, N.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 7 November 2021
ISSN: 0144-6665
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Dobai, A., & Hopkins, N. (2021). Ethnic identity concealment and disclosure: contexts and strategies. British Journal of Social Psychology, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 08 Nov 2021 17:05
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 03:00

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