Racial & Ethnic Identity

Aerika Brittian, Educational Psychology


How do urban youth organizations address the cultural needs and experiences of youth of color? Identity formation is widely acknowledged as an important aspect of adolescent development. In an urban setting, ethnic minority (e.g., African American and Latino) youths' identity development may be impacted negatively by environmental stressors (e.g., ethnic segregation, poverty, community violence, and negative race-related experiences). Youth-serving organizations (YO) are one contextual factor that provides critically valuable support in terms of youth development in this particular social context. Although a central goal of many YOs is to facilitate positive identity development, such as understanding one's place in varying social contexts, the extent to wich urban YOs address the cultural needs and experiences of ethnic minority adolescents is unkown. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate how urban YOs socialize ethnic minority adolescents around race and ethnicity. As discussed in this application, widespread implications of this work include recommendations for funding youth organizations who served ethnic minority populations, cultural-relevance of youth organizations in ethnic minority communities, and program evaluation.


Alexandra Filindra, Political Science


This project seeks to study the role that racial/out-group prejudice plays in shaping whites' gun policy preferences. We develop a new theory suggesting that prejudiced whites will oppose gun control. Although there is accumulating evidence that racism and nativism significantly contributes to white Americans' attitudes toward immigration, welfare, crime, or the criminal justice system and the punishment of offenders, there is scant research on the role of out-group prejudice in shaping whites' gun policy preferences.


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