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March 12, 2013


Being Mixed and Black: The Socialization of Mixed Race Identity

Brett Coleman

When: Tuesday, 2:00pm – 2:50pm
Where: CUPPA Hall room 330, 412 S. Peoria St.

Series: PERG Discussion

This study examined the relationship between parental racial-ethnic socialization and racial-ethnic identity development from the perspective of biracial young adults. Despite the recent advances in theory regarding mixed-race identity development, few studies have examined how parents’ attitudes about race and ethnicity influence the identities of mixed-race youth. Similarly, racial-ethnic socialization theory is largely based on the assumption that individuals identify with single racial-ethnic groups that are discrete and mutually exclusive. Participants were eight biracial young adults with one Black and one White parent. Through semi-structured, in-depth interviews, participants revealed that the socialization of their racial-ethnic identities involved balancing discrete and overlapping, mixed and Black identities. The relationship between socialization and identity development was subject to various ecological influences associated with living in a racialized society in which races are historically thought to be discrete groups with impermeable boundaries. Results are discussed in relation to ecological models of mixed-race identity development.

This event is free and open to the public.