Reimagining what it means to be black in the US: How family cultural socialization practices shape racial identities among diverse young adults

2.6 Dialogue and the co-construction of knowledge
Paper presentation on PhD Day
11:00 AM, Monday 28 Aug 2017 (30 minutes)
Black individual’s racial identity development is influenced by social positioning, unique ecological demands, and the cultural contexts in which both interact. Critical factors such as racism, discrimination, and other forms of oppression are deeply interwoven in how they see themselves and how they navigate different social systems. Family cultural socialization practices shape black individual’s racial identity and influence responses to systems of power that black individuals encounter. The black population in the US has changed significantly with more individuals identifying as Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino. Historically, black identity research has relied significantly on experiences of African Americans to outline its development. Because the salience of race is often dependent on sociocultural contexts, it is important for research to incorporate the changing cultural practices and understandings of blackness that varies and lies dependent on evolving sociocultural contexts and sociohistorical positioning. 
Social practice theory will be used as an organizational tool to understand black racial identity development. Additionally, this paper examines black racial identity as a dynamic set of activities that changes based on sociohistorical positioning. This study addresses both agentive and social dimensions of identity development in young black adults by examining the meaning that young black adults derive from their participation in family cultural socialization practices that shape identity. Young adults who identify as African-American, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino will be interviewed using open-ended questions on facets of racial identity development and how they perceive the family cultural practices that shape their identities. The goal of this research is to: explore black racial identity development of diverse cultural groups,  explore how black individuals’ understanding of family cultural socialization practices contributes to how individuals’ racial identities develop, examine how identity and cultural practices are influenced by the intersection of multiple social identities, and finally, examine how racial identity and the understanding of blackness varies across cultural contexts.
City University of New York Graduate Center
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