Factors Influencing Identity Development Essay by MACP

Factors Influencing Identity Development
Many issues are examined in the pursuit of finding the most important influences on identity development in multiracial individuals. A reflection on this issue is given from personal experience.
# 49560 | 2,866 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2003 | US
Published on Mar 10, 2004 in Psychology (Behaviorism) , Sociology (Theory)

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A variety of sources are examined in order to find consistencies in what influences multiracial identity development. The paper explains that findings show a wide variety of factors that are linked to identity development in multiracial individuals. It concludes that multiracial individuals are as complex as the genetic differences among them.

From the Paper:

"Many authors have attempted to define how multiracial individuals develop their identity: specifically, which factors contribute most to this development. The topic of identity development among bi-racial individuals is being analyzed more often today due to the growing numbers of multiracial children being born in the U.S. I've often wondered to what extinct my racial identity was influenced by the fact that the parent most influential in shaping my thinking was a member of the dominant society. This parent was the financial provider and also a member of societies elite; male and white. Could this fact have influenced where I lived, the size of my home, the amount of education my father achieved (thus influencing my future educational achievements), the racial composition of the neighborhood that I grew up in, my choice of friends and my daily experiences? Was I raised differently than other biracial persons who were raised by a father of color, simply due to the fact that white males are privileged members of our society that have more control over their environments? If so, how did this difference help shape or determine how I later racially identified? Sue and Sue quote Bowles (2003) by stating that, "in a clinical study of ten families, when the mother is white and the father is black, daughters are more likely to identify with the mother's racial background: and when the mother is black and the father white, boys and girls will likely identify with being black. Why then, did all eight of my fathers children choose to identify themselves as multiracial instead of black? Assuming that my case is not unique, other factors more telling than same-sex parental identification must factor into identity development among multiracial individuals."

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