Monday, January 5, 2009

Racial Identity Formation in Chinese Adoptees

After 6 hours of teaching Adoption Law today, I'm too tired to compose a post! So I'll just give you a reading assignment:

Here's the abstract of a 2004 paper by sociologists at UMass and Anhui Agricultural University examining racial attitudes of Chinese adoptees:

Many American parents who have adopted Chinese children are concerned that their children will incorporate derogatory beliefs from the dominant culture into their developing ethnic minority identities, and consequently come to view themselves as inferior to the white majority. One way to test whether American culture is causing adoptees to incorporate derogatory beliefs into their identities is to compare them with Chinese children for whom being Chinese puts them in the ethnic majority. The current study used a photo preference task to compare the racial and ethnic attitudes of 84 adopted Chinese girls in America, ages 8-11, with the attitudes of 73 of their age and gender peers in China. The results indicate that Chinese adoptees in America are just as comfortable in their ethnic minority identities as children in China are in their ethnic majority identities. In addition, the adoptees are more comfortable with members of other ethnic minority groups. The only point of concern came from within-group analyses indicating that the frequency of Chinese preferences declined as a function of child age. A more critical test of the idea that
Chinese adoptees in America will incorporate derogatory beliefs into their ethnic minority identities will come in adolescence, when peer influence and self-identity are paramount.
Read the whole thing here.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Malinda - Very interesting. I'd be curious to see the photographs that were offered to the children. Is that possible?