Monday, January 30, 2012

Ethnic Identity Formation in Chinese Adoptees

A Harvard student has started a blog to let us follow along as she researches and writes her senior thesis on ethnic identity formation in Chinese adoptees:
My name is Alexa and I am studying Sociology and Global Health/Health Policy at Harvard. I'm writing my senior honors thesis on ethnic identity formation in children adopted from China. I'll be using this blog to document my progress and share my research leading up to the publishing of my thesis in March, 2012.
Judging from Friday's post about parents' strategies for raising Chinese adoptees, you'll find lots of relevant and interesting information:
Parents’ socialization strategies face two central tensions:
  • The tension between sameness and differentness within the family
  • The tension between Chinese and American identities.
Richard Tessler (1999), a scholar of China to U.S. adoption, outlines four models of socialization. My research will investigate what factors influence parents' choice of socialization strategy. The four models are:
  • Assimilation: focus on American culture (rejection differences)
  • Acculturation: focus on Chinese culture (acknowledgement of differences)
  • Alternation (or bi-cultural socialization): balance American and Chinese culture, with the goal of making children feel comfortable alternating between cultures (acknowledgement of differences)
  • Child choice: parents allow the child to decide which strategy to pursue (My research will not address the child choice model, as I believe that even if the parents want their child to lead the way in identity formation, the parents’ actions and attitudes exert huge influence on the child’s choice.)
If  you're interested in the subject of parenting strategies used by white parents who are parenting Asian children, you might like this post, which explores another research project on the subject.


Anonymous said...

It should be called ethnic identity formation in Chinese adoptees ADOPTED INTO AMERICA. The observations and results will probably not be relevant elsewhere. The criteria are America-focused and don't even acknowledge other models immigration, multiculturalism, and community.

malinda said...

Good point.