Racial & Ethnic Identity

The "African" Diaspora in India: Exploration of Race, Masculinity, and Class Politics in Contemporary Hyderabad

Gayatri Reddy, Anthropology

The New Black Corporate Executive: Assimilated Insiders, Diversity Managers, and Race Wo/men

Sharon Collins, Sociology

Sabine French, Psychology

This project interviews biracial teens and their families to examine the relationship between their parents’ discussion of race/ethnicity and the teens’ development and expression of racial-ethnic identity. Six families in total will be interviewed by the end of the project.

Findings: Preliminary findings show that white mothers were adamant about their children labeling themselves as “Mixed” while black parents thought of their children as black, but did not want to impose this identity onto them. Some adolescents identified as mixed or biracial, however, they recognized that they “lived” as Black or White.

Recommendations: Future research needs to examine the consequences of the policy to allow mixed race individuals to acknowledge more than one race on official documents. On one hand, the policy provides social validation of mixed race identity. On the other hand, there may be unintended negative consequences: mixed race individuals face discrimination. In addition, the promotion of a mixed identity may devalue a black identity, and distance mixed race individuals from black communities.  As more individuals are socialized to have and adopt a mixed race identity as opposed to a black identity, these potential unintended consequences of the policy should be studied.

To learn more: Email Sabine French at sefrench@uic.edu or see her present her work at the 2012 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference.

Diversity in the New Millenium

Sharon Collins