Date of Degree

2-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor

Anna Stetsenko

Committee Members

Erika Niwa

Silvia Mazzula

Nancy Lopez

Subject Categories

Development Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Keywords

Identity, Race, Ethnicity, Family cultural socialization, Black identity development, Culture

Abstract

This study explores racial identity development as it is influenced by family cultural socialization practices across diverse ethnic groups that identify either racially or ethnically as Black. The literature on Black racial identity development has relied predominantly on the experiences of African Americans in the United States. This study aims to build on earlier Black identity research by exploring the developmental experiences of the growing ethnic and cultural Black population in the United States.

Young adults between the ages of 18-35 who identify as African American, Afro-Latinx, and Afro-Caribbean were recruited to complete a brief questionnaire and participate in an open-ended interview. Participants were also invited to participate in a focus group at a later date. Using Holland and Lave’s social practice theory as a theoretical framework, I explored Black racial identity with a special focus on identity as a practice that is shaped by ongoing social systems in which individuals continuously engage.

This study pays special attention to the interactions between ethnicity, culture, gender, and other social identity contributions to race. The multimethod approach highlights the shared cultural and systemic experiences that influence the meaning that young Black adults ascribe to the family cultural socialization practices that shape Black identity development and blackness. In addition, participant responses demonstrate the significance of family cultural socialization discourse on how young Black adults understand their racial identities and how this understanding impacts how they navigate their social worlds.

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