The purpose of this conceptual article is to advance theory and research on one critical aspect of the context of ethnic–racial identity (ERI) development: ethnic–racial settings, or the objective and subjective nature of group representation within an individual's context. We present a new conceptual framework that consists of four dimensions: (1) perspective (that settings can be understood in both objective and subjective terms); (2) differentiation (how groups are defined in a setting); (3) heterogeneity (the range of groups in a setting); and (4) proximity (the distance between the individual and the setting). Clarifying this complexity is crucial for advancing a more coherent understanding of how ethnic–racial settings are related to ERI development.
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