Black-White interracial parenting in the Midwest: Naturalistic inquiry into race-related experiences, race identity choices, and education realities

Posted in Campus Life, Dissertations, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2011-07-31 03:57Z by Steven

Black-White interracial parenting in the Midwest: Naturalistic inquiry into race-related experiences, race identity choices, and education realities

University of South Dakota
May 2009
133 pages
Publication Number: AAT 3367641
ISBN: 9781109276206

Anita A. Manning

A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education

On November 4, 2008, the United States of America elected the first biracial president, Barack Hussein Obama, a Black man of Black and White heritage. President Obama’s self-claimed identity reinforced this image. Many of the laws and ways of classifying people changed since President Obama’s generation and with these changes arose a growing population of people with one White parent and one Black parent. This group claimed neither a Black nor White identity, but rather a biracial identity. “Biracial is not currently a recognized racial category within the American cultural landscape” (Rockquemore & Brunsma, 2002, p. 336).

According to Root (1996), “The US Census (1992) reported that while the number of monoracial white babies was 15%, the number of Black/White biracial babies has grown almost 500%” (p. xv). For the first time in history, the number of biracial babies is increasing at a faster rate than the number of monoracial babies (p. xiv). Root (1996) referred to this phenomenon as the biracial baby boom (Root, 1996, p. xv).

This qualitative naturalistic inquiry study described the experiences of six interracial couples raising biracial children. The interracial couples consisted of Black men married to White women. The source of information for this study came from individual audio-recorded face-to-face interviews from the 12 participants. The interviews were transcribed, verified by the participants, and analyzed by the researcher and a peer debriefer for themes. Themes of the six interracial couple’s experiences emerged.

The overall consensus of the respondents was that society has not changed significantly during the past 10 years. The participants are still experiencing discrimination, racism, negative classification, social rejection, marginalization, negative stereotypes, exclusion, and ignorance from the members and practices of society.

Most of the participants’ experienced their children being excluded, marginalized, and forgotten at school, and shared situations of condemnation, name calling, and racist remarks. At parent conferences, practices of not having eye contact with the Black father and directing communication toward the White mother were reported.

The participants in this study voiced concern about teachers, principals, and administrators lacking knowledge in regard to the teaching of biracial students. Respondents stated that teachers had low expectations of biracial students and used low-level curriculum.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
    • Statement of Problem
    • Purpose of the Study
    • Research Questions
    • Significance of the Study
    • Definition of Terms
    • Delimitations
    • Assumptions
    • Organization of the Study
  • 2. Review of Selected Literature
    • Historical Classification of People
    • Laws and Customs
    • Marriage
    • Parenting
    • Family Dynamics
    • Extended Families
    • Societal Issues
    • Identity Development
    • Racial/Ethnic Identity Development
    • Biracial Identity Development
    • Models of Biracial Identity Development
    • School Environment
    • School Practices
    • School Achievement
    • Teachers/Staff
    • Summary
  • 3. Methodology
    • Purpose of the Study
    • Research Questions
    • Researcher’s Perspective
    • Participants
    • Data Collection
    • Data Analysis
    • Verification
    • Ethical Considerations
    • Dissemination of Results
  • 4. Findings
    • Statement of the Problem
    • Purpose of the Study
    • Research Questions
    • Participants
    • Findings
    • Experiences Raising Biracial Children
      • Biracial Parenting
      • Identification/Classification
      • Family
      • President Obama
      • Society
    • Child Development
      • School Environment
      • School Practices/Achievement
      • Teachers
    • Recommendations for Respondents about Making Improvements
      • Society
      • Schools
    • Summary
  • 5. Summary Conclusion, Discussion, and Recommendations
    • Summary
      • Purpose of the Study
      • Research Questions
      • Literature Review Summary
      • Methodology
      • Findings
    • Conclusions
    • Discussion
    • Recommendations
      • Recommendations for Practice
    • Recommendations for Further Study
  • References
  • Appendixes
    • A. Interview Protocol Questions
    • B. Invitation to Participate
    • C. Informed Consent
    • D. Audit Trail

Statement of the Problem

What did parents in this study believe their children experienced in the Midwest in the largest urban environment in South Dakota? This study was designed to explore through a naturalistic research model how a selected small group of these parents experienced the social and educational environment of the community of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a city of increasing diversity. Additionally, this study was designed by a researcher who herself is a White mother with a Black husband and has raised their son in this environment. The study asked a group of interracial parents what they perceived their biracial children experienced and what meaning the parents ascribed to these experiences that affected the maturation of the children.

There are few research studies that explore interracial parental perceptions of the experiences and meanings that these parents believe their children experience. While literature on self-identity is extensive, little is written to identify what an increasing number of interracial parents in an urban center in the Midwest (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) have seen as the experiences of their children. The problem of this study was to identify and explore parental perceptions regarding the matters of their children’s racial identity, personal efficacy, and self-worth that might influence social acceptance and educational achievement.

Purchase the dissertation here.

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