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Minority Coping Strategies

Social groups such as ethnic and religious groups vary in a variety of ways, including whether they represent a numerical minority or majority within a culture and whether they are valued (high status) or devalued (low status) within that culture. In this entry, the term minority is used to refer to a social group or social identity that is devalued or stigmatized rather than numerically underrepresented. Minority coping refers to strategies that members of devalued groups use to manage emotion, thought, behavior, and their environment in order to deal with stress associated with possessing a devalued social identity.

Being (or being perceived to be) a member of a devalued minority group is often stressful. Members of minority groups are targets of negative stereotypes, social exclusion, prejudice, ...

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