“What Are You?”: Racial Ambiguity, Stigma, and the Racial Formation Project

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-08-27 16:09Z by Steven

“What Are You?”: Racial Ambiguity, Stigma, and the Racial Formation Project

Deviant Behavior
Volume 35, Issue 12, 2014
pages 1006-1022
DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2014.901081

Tiffanie Grier, Career Placement Director & Garden to Groceries Project Director
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, Memphis Tennessee

Carol Rambo, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Memphis, Memphis Tennessee

Marshall A. Taylor
University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

Using interview data from individuals who were frequently asked some version of the question “What are you?” in regards to their race, we apply a deviance perspective to frame these encounters as micro level racial formation projects. Racial formation projects are problematized when one’s race is not readily classifiable. These data suggest that when race is perceptibly ambiguous, stigma is assigned and normativity is enforced through discursive constraint and other means. Racially ambiguous individuals use many forms of resistance to navigate these encounters and make identity claims that either affirm or endanger the normative racial formation order.

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Mixed-Race Youth and Schooling: The Fifth Minority

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Teaching Resources, United States on 2014-08-27 14:27Z by Steven

Mixed-Race Youth and Schooling: The Fifth Minority

Routledge
2015-07-31
224 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-13-802191-4
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-13-802193-8

Sandra Winn Tutwiler, Professor of Education
Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas

This timely, in-depth examination of the educational experiences and needs of mixed-race children (“the fifth minority”) focuses on the four contexts that primarily influence learning and development: the family, school, community, and society-at-large.

The book provides foundational historical, social, political, and psychological information about mixed-race children and looks closely at their experiences in schools, their identity formation, and how schools can be made more supportive of their development and learning needs. Moving away from an essentialist discussion of mixed-race children, a wide variety of research is included. Life and schooling experiences of mixed-raced individuals are profiled throughout the text. Rather than pigeonholing children into a neat box of descriptions or providing ready made prescriptions for educators, Mixed-Race Youth and Schooling offers information and encourages teachers to critically reflect on how it is relevant to and helpful in their teaching/learning contexts.

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Collaboration is Key to Psychology Professor Sam Sommers’ Research on Race and Ethnicity

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2014-08-26 19:05Z by Steven

Collaboration is Key to Psychology Professor Sam Sommers’ Research on Race and Ethnicity

Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
School of Arts And Sciences
August 2013

Anna Burgess

Doctoral Student Sarah Gaither and a Team of Undergraduates Focus on Biracial Perceptions and Identity Flexibility

“As a society, the way we think about questions of race and ethnicity tends to be over-simplified,” Professor Sam Sommers explains. “We like to be able to put people into categories. But what about the people who don’t fit into these categories?”

For Sommers, a Tufts professor and social psychologist, and director of  Tufts’ Diversity & Intergroup Relations Lab, this is not a rhetorical question–it’s a research question. He and 5th-year Ph.D. candidate Sarah Gaither, along with an undergraduate student research team, are trying to find some answers within this topic. Sommers has been studying diversity and its effect on group interactions for ten years, and he started working with Gaither a few years ago. “She’s interested in these same kinds of issues,” he says, “but from the perspective of multiracial people.”

Gaither explains that the projects she and Sommers are working on right now all focus on biracial perceptions and identity flexibility. “Growing up in a biracial family has made me extremely interested in interracial and intergroup relations more generally,” she says, “but in particular it has made me want to learn more about how biracial individuals are perceived and treated by others.” Gaither, who is the recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, is working with Sommers on several different studies, some focusing on biracial children and others on biracial college students. In terms of how student researchers factor in, Gaither says, “All of these studies involve training undergraduate research assistants on how to run the studies, since without them, I would not be able to be nearly as productive as I am.”…

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Documentary reveals Jewish mother’s ‘Little White Lie’

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-08-26 01:58Z by Steven

Documentary reveals Jewish mother’s ‘Little White Lie’

The Times of Israel
2014-08-17

Rebecca Spence

Lacey Schwartz’s film about reconciling her hidden black paternity to the Ashkenazi Jewish home she was raised in strikes universal themes

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — When Lacey Schwartz celebrated her bat mitzvah more than two decades ago in her hometown of Woodstock, New York, a synagogue-goer turned to her and said, “It’s so nice to have an Ethiopian Jew in our midst.”

Never mind that Schwartz, a striking 37-year-old with long black curls and a megawatt smile, is about as American as they come. Raised by two Ashkenazi Jewish parents in a largely white, upstate New York town, Schwartz’s complexion — darker than that of her relatives — had long been attributed to a Sicilian grandfather.

Despite lingering questions, she believed the story. But when Schwartz enrolled at Georgetown University and the Black Student Alliance sent her a welcome letter based on a picture she submitted, Schwartz could no longer deny something was amiss.

She confronted her mother, Peggy Schwartz, only to discover that her biological father was a black man named Rodney with whom she had had an affair.

The discovery of her family secret and Schwartz’s coming to terms with her newly complex racial identity serves as the basis for “Little White Lie,” a moving documentary that had its official world premiere at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival last Sunday following screenings in Cape Cod, Mass., and Philadelphia

…While Schwartz the filmmaker has embraced her black identity, it has not been at the expense of the strong Jewish cultural identity she developed during her formative years. Some of the earliest stirrings of the film came through her work with Reboot, a hand-picked collective of Jewish creative professionals who come together to explore meaning, community and identity…

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Who Are You? Multiracial Students and Microaggressions on College Campuses

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-24 02:25Z by Steven

Who Are You? Multiracial Students and Microaggressions on College Campuses

NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
2014-08-01

Brittany Hunt

Have you ever been in a situation where you were having a conversation with someone and then all of the sudden you feel them looking at you with a puzzled look on their face? Then here comes the question: “So…what exactly are you mixed with? What are you?” This is the subtle, intentional (or unintentional) form of racism known as a microaggressions (Sue, Capodilupo, Torino, Bucceri, Holder, Nadal, & Esquilin, 2007). This is an all too familiar experience for those who are multiracial. This article is influenced by my research study on how multiracial students manage microaggressions. In this research I looked at how microaggressions affected the student experience, and how that impacted their experience on campus. This led me to realize that each student has a different experience and we should recognize and embrace each of those experiences. This article will mainly focus on the effect of microaggressions on the experience of multiracial students using my research and other relevant literature. I will also take some time to talk about how we can create inclusive environments for multiracial students…

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Perceptions of Parents’ Ethnic Identities and the Personal Ethnic-Identity and Racial Attitudes of Biracial Adults

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-24 02:18Z by Steven

Perceptions of Parents’ Ethnic Identities and the Personal Ethnic-Identity and Racial Attitudes of Biracial Adults

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Published online: 2014-08-04

Cesalie T. Stepney
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Diana T. Sanchez, Associate Professor of Psychology
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Phillip E. Handy
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

The present study examined the relationship of perceived parental closeness and parental ethnic identity on personal ethnic identity and colorblindness beliefs in 275 part-White biracial Americans (M age = 23.88). Respondents completed online measures of their personal ethnic identity (minority, White, and multiracial), perceived parental ethnic identity, parental closeness, and attitudes about the state of race relations and the need for social action in the United States. Using path modeling, results show that part-White biracial individuals perceive their ethnic identity to be strongly linked to their parental racial identities, especially when they had closer parental relationships. Moreover, stronger minority identity was linked to less colorblind attitudes, and greater White identity was linked to greater colorblind attitudes suggesting that patterns of identity may influence how biracial individuals view race-relations and the need for social action. Implications for biracial well-being and their understanding of prejudice and discrimination are discussed.

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Black, White, or Mixed: Identity Formation and Choice Among Black-White Biracial Individuals

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-18 20:32Z by Steven

Black, White, or Mixed: Identity Formation and Choice Among Black-White Biracial Individuals

Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
2014-08-02
82 pages

Madison Alayne Hinton

A thesis submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Auburn University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

Identity is a term that is difficult to define, yet every human being has one. It is a strong indicator of how people will act and defines them in an important way and is a reflection of one’s self and self-understanding. Identity is an important aspect for all humans, but it is an especially interesting trait when describing biracial individuals due to their multiracial background. The biracial demographic is growing quickly from that of the past, so it is important that their unique situation be researched. This study explores the family influence on biracial identity choice by gathering data using both a questionnaire and a focus group. The findings concluded family does have a significant, yet indirect, impact on the racial identity choice of their biracial children by encouraging individuality and allowing the person to choose their racial category themselves.

Read the entire thesis here.

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Monoracial and Biracial Children: Effects of Racial Identity Saliency on Social Learning and Social Preferences

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-08-14 21:11Z by Steven

Monoracial and Biracial Children: Effects of Racial Identity Saliency on Social Learning and Social Preferences

Child Development
Published Online: 2014-07-14
DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12266

Sarah E. Gaither
Department of Psychology
Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Eva E. Chen, Assistant Professor of Social Science
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Kathleen H. Corriveau, Assistant Professor of Human Development
Boston University

Paul L. Harris, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Education
Harvard University

Nalini Ambady (1959-2013), Professor of Psychology
Stanford University

Samuel R. Sommers, Professor of Psychology
Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Children prefer learning from, and affiliating with, their racial in-group but those preferences may vary for biracial children. Monoracial (White, Black, Asian) and biracial (Black/White, Asian/White) children (N = 246, 3–8 years) had their racial identity primed. In a learning preferences task, participants determined the function of a novel object after watching adults (White, Black, and Asian) demonstrate its uses. In the social preferences task, participants saw pairs of children (White, Black, and Asian) and chose with whom they most wanted to socially affiliate. Biracial children showed flexibility in racial identification during learning and social tasks. However, minority-primed biracial children were not more likely than monoracial minorities to socially affiliate with primed racial in-group members, indicating their in-group preferences are contextually based.

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Ethnic-Racial Socialization and Its Correlates in Families of Black–White Biracial Children

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-14 20:40Z by Steven

Ethnic-Racial Socialization and Its Correlates in Families of Black–White Biracial Children

Family Relations
Volume 63, Issue 2 (April 2014)
pages 259–270
DOI: 10.1111/fare.12062

Annamaria Csizmadia, Assistant Professor, Human Development & Family Studies
University of Connecticut, Stamford

Alethea Rollins, Instructor, Child and Family Development
University of Central Missouri

Jessica P. Kaneakua
University of Connecticut

Child, family, and contextual correlates of ethnic-racial socialization among U.S. families of 293 kindergarten-age Black–White biracial children were investigated in this study. Children with one White-identified and one Black-identified biological parent who were enrolled in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort participated in this study. Parents’ racial identification of children, parent age, family socioeconomic status, urbanicity, and region of country predicted the likelihood of frequent ethnic-racial socialization. Relative to their biracially and Black-identified peers, White-identified biracial children were less likely to have frequent discussions about ethnic-racial heritage. Findings suggest that ethnic-racial socialization is a prevalent parenting practice in families of young biracial children and that its frequency varies depending on child, family, and situational factors. Implications for practice are discussed.

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The Role of Identity Integration in Enhancing Creativity Among Mixed-Race Individuals

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2014-08-14 19:39Z by Steven

The Role of Identity Integration in Enhancing Creativity Among Mixed-Race Individuals

The Journal of Creative Behavior
Volume 48, Issue 3 (September 2014)
pages 198–208
DOI: 10.1002/jocb.48

G. Tendayi Viki, Senior Lecturer in Psychology
University of Kent, United Kingdom

May Liang J. Williams
University of Kent, United Kingdom

Identity integration among bicultural individuals refers to the perception that their two cultural identities are compatible. Previous research has shown that identity integration is likely to lead to enhanced creativity. However, this research was conducted among first- and second-generation immigrants, but not among mixed-race individuals. The current research examined identity integration and creativity among mixed-race individuals. We also explored the role of integrated identity experiences at home. We found that identity integration was related to increases in creativity; and this was partly mediated via integrated identity experiences at home. Our findings suggest that positive bicultural experiences at home may create a context for the individual to integrate their biracial identities; and this is ultimately beneficial for creativity.

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