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.

Tags: ,

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.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , ,

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.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , ,

Skewing the Data: Mixed-Race Identity & the Problem of Counting for Race

Posted in Articles, Canada, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Social Science on 2014-08-11 00:20Z by Steven

Skewing the Data: Mixed-Race Identity & the Problem of Counting for Race

Lucia Lorenzi: the body politic: musings and meanderings
2014-04-13

Lucia Lorenzi
University of British Columbia

A few weeks ago, I attended a panel hosted by the Institute for Gender, Race, and Sexuality at the University of British Columbia, entitled “CWILA and the Problem of Counting for Race.” CWILA (Canadian Women in the Literary Arts) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2012, as a “discursive space to address gender disparities in Canadian literary culture, as well as the wider politics of representation, the critical reception of women’s writing in the literary press, and the ways in which we can foster stronger critical communities.” Through their first two annual counts, CWILA demonstrated that there is a significant imbalance when it comes to gender representation in Canadian literary culture. Considering the myriad ways in which these imbalances continue to circulate, (as evidenced by statements from the likes of David Gilmour, whom I have written about here) the collection of data seems to serve a useful purpose in providing some numerical and concrete grounding to what often feels like an abstract and unquantifiable problem. Data can help to back an argument, to lend “credibility,” when people would otherwise dismiss lived experiences or personal narratives as “mere anecdotes.”…

…I am deeply aware that I am, in so many ways, a question mark. A fully Italian name, with seemingly-matching olive skin. My mother tongue is German. My mother is white and my father is black. When my parents separated, my sister and I were raised by our mother in a primarily-white suburb of Vancouver. And, in many moments in my life, I have had the privilege of passing. While my sister and I share the same parentage, the rolling of the genetic dice meant that while I was born with lighter skin and straight hair, my sister was born with darker skin and curly hair. Even now, when my sister and I are out together, it is she who is more readily-racialized than I am. It is because of this complexity that the question of race, and accounting for my own racialization, has always been fraught. I am genetically, biologically, half-Black, and yet I have had virtually no connection to “Black” culture for most of my life. What is “Black” culture, anyway? I did not inherit the stories of my father’s family, the stories of growing up in Barbados, growing up Black on an island with a history of British colonization and the Atlantic slave trade. And yet, that history is still mine, somehow. It’s in my skin. Do I count in percentages? Half-half? 70%-30%?…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

The Lived Experience of Mixed-Race Identity

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2014-08-10 23:59Z by Steven

The Lived Experience of Mixed-Race Identity

University of Edinburgh
2013

Jessica Pons

This study shows a phenomenological account of the mixed-race lived experience. Previous research focused on mixed-race White/Black individuals and mainly consisted of American studies. For this study, six British young adults were interviewed. The participants self identified as mixed-race, all had one Black parent and one White or Indian. Transcripts were analysed using the qualitative method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four master themes emerged, Wholeness: more than just the parts; Neither Black nor White; Appearances: a mixed-blessing; and Journeying identity. The mixed-race experience was found to be highly heterogeneous although all had reached a mixed-race identity. Contextual factors such as upbringing, the presence of Black others and the ability to deconstruct race affected how they identified. Some participants felt strongly that they did not fit into a monoracial world. This was due to other people’s perceptions, others had no such issue. Multiple identities were held and identities were fluid, supporting past research. These findings deepen our understanding of the dynamic nature of mixed-race racial identity and the diverse factors that influence such identities, providing a sound base for further research.

Tags: ,

A phenomenological study of racial identity development of black-white mixed-race children in the United States

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-08-10 22:22Z by Steven

A phenomenological study of racial identity development of black-white mixed-race children in the United States

Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas
2013
142 pages
ISBN: 9781303661433
ProQuest Document ID: 1496772753

Cherly Gary-Furdge, Ph.D

This study examines how black-white mixed-race children develop their racial identity and how black-white parents of mixed-race children help their children with developing their racial identity. For this study, racial identity development is the process by which one selects or identifies his/her racial category. Three research questions are explored: (1) How do black-white interracial couples assist their children with developing their racial identities? (2) How do children born to black-white parents develop their racial identities? (3) What are some of the challenges faced by black-white mixed-race children?

This study included 36 participants: 12 biracial children who were raised by their biological parents and 12 black-white interracial couples who conceived a child together. In-depth interviews were conducted to collect data about how the parents assisted the children with developing their racial identity, how the children developed their racial identity, and what challenges are encountered by these children.

The data collected for this study provide answers to all of the three research questions. The parent participants used four strategies to assist their children with their racial identity development: educating them about their culture, the “one drop rule”, using their race to benefit them, and “see no race and hear no race.” The adult children in this study chose either black or biracial as their racial identities because of their experiences, but none of them chose white as their racial identity. The adult children participants also reported challenges they experienced, including being rejected by family members, the object of prejudiced in school, and being made to feel invisible.

Order the dissertation here.

Tags: ,

Your words don’t change who I am

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-08-06 16:11Z by Steven

Your words don’t change who I am

The Race Card Project (by Michele Norris)
2014-08-05

Blake Coffey
Van Nuys, California

In a world where being mixed is supposed to be looked at as beautiful, it’s not as easy when you are. People automatically assume that all mixed people are supposed to look mixed just like they assume all Mexicans are brown. I’m born to a mixed black/white father who looks full black and society deems him so, and a white mother. I’ve looked for people that are the same thing or mixed but not looked at as mixed but I’ve always felt left out. I don’t look at people as a certain race but they sure look at me like I am. I’m judged and denied of who I am because genetics determined that I wouldn’t come out looking mixed. Although I’ve faced racism from every race.

Today is the day when I fully accept myself for who I am. I’m not denying myself or anyone else of who I truly am…

Read the entire essay here.

Tags: , ,

After the ‘White Lie’ Implodes, a Rich Narrative Unfurls

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2014-08-02 16:59Z by Steven

After the ‘White Lie’ Implodes, a Rich Narrative Unfurls

The New York Times
2014-08-01

Felicia R. Lee

‘Little White Lie,’ Lacey Schwartz’s Film About Self-Discovery

Lacey Schwartz, a 37-year-old Harvard Law School graduate turned filmmaker, moves with ease in circles in which her identity as both black and Jewish seems unremarkable. What makes her biography striking is that Ms. Schwartz, a woman with light brown skin and a cascade of dark curls, grew up believing she was white.

How and why that happened is the subject of her film, “Little White Lie,” which has its premiere on Sunday at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, its first stop on the festival circuit before being broadcast on PBS next year. With Ms. Schwartz narrating, the camera travels to a funeral, girlfriend gab sessions and even her therapy appointments. At each stop, in raw conversations with family and friends, Ms. Schwartz asks over and over, how and why did she pass as white?

“I come from a long line of New York Jews,” she says early in the film, as photographs of her white relatives flash across the screen. “My family knew who they were, and they defined who I was.”

Ms. Schwartz was an only child who grew up in the mostly white town of Woodstock, N.Y. Her parents, Peggy and Robert Schwartz, told her that she favored her father’s swarthy Sicilian grandfather. It was not until she went off to college that she learned the truth.

Before starting college, “I was already questioning my whiteness because of what other people said and because I was aware that I looked different from my family,” she said in a recent interview. Then, based on the photograph accompanying her application, Georgetown University passed her name along to the black student association, which contacted her.

The university “gave me permission” to explore a black identity, Ms. Schwartz said…

…Bliss Broyard explored similar territory in a memoir about her father, the book critic Anatole Broyard, a black man who passed as white. She has said she was raised white but learned the truth about her father on his deathbed. But Ms. Broyard, unlike Ms. Schwartz, grew up with her biological father.

Jenifer L. Bratter, director of the Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Culture at Rice University, said the film’s twisting tale was part of “a larger story about race in America.”

“Biological race trumps cultural race,” she added. “Race is something we’re really invested in validating or comprehending. It’s about how we understand race as a marker of difference, something that a story about ancestry can’t resolve.”..

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Race in a Baby’s Face

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-07-29 16:39Z by Steven

Race in a Baby’s Face

Psychology Today
2014-07-28

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Ed.D, Psychologist and Co-founder
Stanford University LifeWorks program for Integrative Learning

Crawling the color line

Race is supposedly something objective, even biological, that we’re ascribed at birth and marks us through our whole lives, assigning us to a group that separates us from others. But for many people race is ambiguous, complex, and uncertain. I’ve never understood my race or that of my children. And for the newest babies in my extended family, it’s not clear at all what their race is supposed to be.

When my niece had a baby, a beautiful boy, everyone oohed and aahed when they saw the cute little guy. One of his cousins glowed, “Oh he’s so cute!”  But suddenly a puzzled expression came over him and he looked at the baby’s father, then at the mother, and back at the baby and blurted out: “Wait…..they had a white baby?”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,