The authors wish to thank Thomas Parham and Adrienne Harris for their assistance on earlier drafts of this manuscript.
Racial Self-Identification: The Effects of Social History and Gender1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 136–146, April 1984
How to Cite
Fine, M. and Bowers, C. (1984), Racial Self-Identification: The Effects of Social History and Gender. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 14: 136–146. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1984.tb02226.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Dark and Clark's pioneering study in 1947 demonstrated that Black children were ambivalent about racial self-identification. Subsequent research indicates that during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Black children were increasingly likely to demonstrate a commitment to identifying with a Black stimulus. The present study investigates the extent to which this trend persists in the 1980s and how gender of the child affects her/his racial identification. The results indicate that the 1980s may be a time in history when Black children are growing more ambivalent about racial self-identification, and that Black boys are significantly more likely than Black girls to identify with the white doll. The findings suggest that the current political climate which places Blacks at a significant social and economic disadvantage may reduce children's willingness to identify with a Black stimulus. The gender differences are explored in terms of Black boys' greater likelihood psychologically to try to identify away from Blackness.