Racial Malleability and Authenticity in Multiracial Well-Being

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-01-23 21:55Z by Steven

Racial Malleability and Authenticity in Multiracial Well-Being

University of Miami
134 pages
May 2014

Lauren E. Smith

A DISSERTATION Submitted to the Faculty of the University of Miami in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

After relatively stable rates of interracial marriage, the numbers of unions across race markedly increased over the past decade, with the number of mixed race babies also increasing. This growing shift in our population is known as the “Biracial Baby Boom” (Bratter, 2007), however, research is lagging with regard to the lived experience and its relationship to psychological well-being of this significant part of our population. Previous research found that greater malleability of one’s racial identity is related to decreased psychological well-being (Sanchez, Shih & Garcia, 2009). However, other research, related to self-concept, suggested that authentic self-complexity, more complex cognitive representations of the self, can serve as a buffer against daily stress (Ryan, LaGuardia & Rawsthorne, 2005). The construct of racial malleability, shifting expressions of racial identity in a given context, has been grounded in self-concept literature supporting the importance of stability in how one sees oneself. Though similar, research on self-complexity reinforces the protective quality of organizing self-knowledge in terms of a greater number of authentic self-aspects. Differences in outcomes for these similar yet related concepts may be due to the representations of racial self-aspects based on the kinds of contextual experiences. Specifically, one’s ability to incorporate multiple aspects of identity may be compromised in the face of questioning by others or one’s sense of authenticity. Thus, the association between malleable identity and outcomes is dependent on contextual experiences. This study explored the ways in which identity experiences and authenticity influence the relationship between racial malleability and psychological well-being for 149 multiracial adults surveyed via the internet. Psychological well-being was defined by measures of perceived stress and life satisfaction. Findings suggest that racial malleability positively relates to life satisfaction. Additionally, the relationship between racial malleability and perceived stress is moderated by experiences of identity questioning. Regarding authenticity, self-alienation as a measure of authenticity played a significant role in multiracial well-being. Implications for these relationships are discussed regarding therapy and research with multiracial individuals.

Read the entire dissertation here.

Tags: , ,

Racial Malleability and Authenticity in Multiracial Well-Being Study

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2012-11-08 22:49Z by Steven

Racial Malleability and Authenticity in Multiracial Well-Being Study


Lauren Smith, Ed.M., Doctoral Candidate in Counseling Psychology
University of Miami


My name is Lauren Smith and I am a doctoral student incounseling psychology at the University of Miami. As part of my dissertation research, I am conducting a survey of adult multiracial individuals’ experiences with shifting expressions of racial identity and identity questioning.

The purpose of this research study is to understand the experiences of multiracial individuals, how shifting racial expressions, authenticity, identity questioning and experiences that represent challenges and resilience impact multiracial individuals’ well-being. I would appreciate if you could participate and/or forward this study to potential participants.

Participants must self-identify as biracial, multiracial, mixed race or as having parents of two or more different races, and be over the age of 18.

To participate in the study, please click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GNNSXTZ

Prospective participants who meet these criteria can click on the link provided above and will be directed to two eligibility questions and then the informed consent, which includes additional information on study participation. Participation in the study is expected to take approximately 30 minutes.

Participation is confidential and participants may withdraw from the study at any time. If participants have any questions, they may contact me at L.smith26@umiami.edu.

Thank you.

Tags: , ,

Mixed-race People and Emancipation-Era Jamaica

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2012-01-10 06:07Z by Steven

Mixed-race People and Emancipation-Era Jamaica

Emancipation: The Caribbean Experience
Bulding Communities
University of Miami
Fall 2001

Kiara Bell

This website was created by the students of History 300: Caribbean History: Emancipation and Freedom, in Fall 2001 at the University of Miami, with the assistance of the staff of Richter Library’s Archives and Special Collections.

Following the emancipation of all enslaved Africans in 1834, the island of Jamaica was left in a stage of rebuilding.  Religion, education, and family structure were all in disarray and were in need of reconstruction.  With their new-found freedom, people also had the task of establishing a new way of life that would allow them prosperity and fulfillment.  However, the group that faced the most complex rebuilding process was the so-called “people of color.”  People of color, who were a result of “miscegenation,” or sexual relationships between people of African and European descent, faced the challenge of readjusting in the midst of distinct color lines on the island.  They faced particular challenges in the areas of politics, marriage and family, and child education. 

During slavery, white slave owners fathered numerous children with black slaves, and generations of children of mixed race heritage were the result.  White observers tried to subdivide these people of color into various categories.  Mulattos were one half-black and one half-white.  Samboes were black and mulatto (three fourths black and one fourth white).  Quadroons were the offspring of whites and mulattos (three fourths white and one fourth black).  Mestees were the offspring of whites and quadroons (one eight black).  After the Mestees few could perceive a color distinction because it is unlikely that one could detect “black” characteristics if an individual had less than one eighth African ancestry.  Observers also believed that one could detect the differences between the various subdivisions of people of color based on particular qualities, in addition to physical appearance.  The Sambo, although three-fourths black and one fourth white, was still seen differently from the “Negro” in various manners and habits.  Generally, people believed that people of color were less subject to disease than whites or “Negro.”  White observers also firmly adhered to the idea that most people of color felt a distinct advantage and pride in being slightly removed from the “Negro race” and attempted to take on manners and customs of whites…

Read the entire essay here.

Tags: , ,

Mix Up, Mix Up: Reviewing Bob Marley as the Militant Mulatto

Posted in Biography, Course Offerings, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2012-01-04 03:33Z by Steven

Mix Up, Mix Up: Reviewing Bob Marley as the Militant Mulatto

University of Miami
Fall 2011
ENG 106 R4/S4

Rachel Panton, Lecturer of English

In lieu of what would have been Bob Marley’s 66th birthday, we will explore the impact of Rastafari on the life and music of Marley, and on other contemporary Roots Reggae artists. We will also discuss the history of Marley’s mixed-race heritage and the ways in which race influenced his music and being. Students will be encouraged to investigate these issues, as well as develop their own inquiries about this mystical legend.

Tags: , , ,

Marley class inspires UM students

Posted in Articles, Biography, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2012-01-04 03:04Z by Steven

Marley class inspires UM students

South Florida Times

Juliana Accioly

CORAL GABLES — On a recent weekday, students at the University of Miami watched a screen in front of a blackboard ignite with lively performances of music legend Bob Marley.

Then, suddenly, those images were juxtaposed with graphic footage of segregation and violence.

When it comes to English lectures, the ones given by Professor Rachel Panton are far from routine.

Panton’s course, titled “Mix Up, Mix Up: Reviewing Bob Marley as the Militant Mulatto” has been a recurring hit among UM undergraduates.  Since 2006, more than 400 students have enrolled in the class.  They examine Marley’s life and music through his social and political times, and his contribution to the international recognition of reggae and Rastafari as empowering black power movements.

“There is all this iconography of Bob Marley just floating out there,” Panton told the South Florida Times. “This course analyzes the context in which he became a luminary.”

The class also explores the singer’s mixed heritage. He was born the son of a Jamaican black mother and an English white father at a time when intermixing of races was not rare, but still not welcome.

Marley chose to identify himself as black.

“Marley is an interesting figure because most biracial people don’t see the dichotomy ‘either or,’ but think of themselves as ‘both and,’” said Panton, alluding to her own black-white heritage…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,