“It’s Only Other People Who Make Me Feel Black”: Acculturation, Identity, and Agency in a Multicultural Community

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2013-09-16 20:36Z by Steven

“It’s Only Other People Who Make Me Feel Black”: Acculturation, Identity, and Agency in a Multicultural Community

Political Psychology
Published online: 2013-02-18
DOI: 10.1111/pops.12020

Caroline Howarth, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology
London School of Economics, United Kingdom

Wolfgang Wagner, Professor of Psychology
Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
University of the Basque Country, San Sebastián, Spain

Nicola Magnusson
The Open University, United Kingdom

Gordon Sammut, Lecturer in Psychology
University of Malta

This article explores identity work and acculturation work in the lives of British mixed-heritage children and adults. Children, teenagers, and parents with mixed heritage participated in a community arts project that invited them to deliberate, construct, and reconstruct their cultural identities and cultural relations. We found that acculturation, cultural and raced identities, are constructed through a series of oppositional themes: cultural maintenance versus cultural contact; identity as inclusion versus identity as exclusion; institutionalized ideologies versus agency. The findings point towards an understanding of acculturation as a dynamic, situated, and multifaceted process: acculturation in movement. To investigate this, we argue that acculturation research needs to develop a more dynamic and situated approach to the study of identity, representation, and culture. The article concludes with a discussion on the need for political psychologists to develop methods attuned to the tensions and politics of acculturation that are capable of highlighting the possibilities for resistance and social change.

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Inclusionary Discrimination: Pigmentocracy and Patriotism in the Dominican Republic

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2011-07-26 04:27Z by Steven

Inclusionary Discrimination: Pigmentocracy and Patriotism in the Dominican Republic

Political Psychology
Volume 22, Issue 4 (December 2001)
pages 827–851
DOI: 10.1111/0162-895X.00264

Jim Sidanius, Professor of Psychology and African and African American Studies
Harvard University

Yesilernis Pena

Mark Sawyer, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Political Science
University of California, Los Angeles

This study explored the nature of racial hierarchy and the connection between racial identity and Dominican patriotism using a questionnaire given to an in situ sample in the Dominican Republic. The analyses compared the contradictory expectations of the “racial democracy” (or “Iberian exceptionalism”) thesis and social dominance theory. Results showed that despite the very high level of racial intermarriage in the Dominican Republic, there was strong evidence of a “pigmentocracy,” or group-based social hierarchy based largely on skin color. Furthermore, despite a slight tendency for people to give slightly higher status ratings to their own “racial” category than were given to them by members of other “racial” categories, this pigmentocracy was highly consensual across the racial hierarchy. These results were consistent with the expectations of social dominance theory. However, in contrast to similar analyses in the United States and Israel, these Dominican findings showed no evidence that members of different “racial” categories had different levels of patriotic attachment to the nation. Also in contrast to recent American findings, there was no evidence that Dominican patriotism was positively associated with anti-black racism, social dominance orientation, negative affect toward other racial groups, or ethnocentrism, regardless of the “racial” category one belonged to. These latter results were consistent with the racial democracy thesis. The theoretical implications of these somewhat conflicting findings are discussed.

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