Strategies for Racial Identity Development: Narratives of Black and White Women in Interracial Partner Relationships

Authors

  • Miriam R. Hill,

    Corresponding author
    1. Miriam R. Hill, M.S., is a Ph.D. candidate in the Marriage and Family Therapy program of the Department of Child Development and Family Studies at Purdue University.
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  • Volker Thomas

    1. Volker Thomas, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy in the Department of Child Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. His research interests include outcome research of poor families.
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  • *The authors are grateful to Judy Myers-Walls, Ph.D., Deanne Pérez-Granados, Ph.D., Ping-Chuan Hsiung, Ph.D., and Katherine Michelson, Ph.D., for their helpful feedback on this research study. Poster presentations of this study were presented at the annual conference of the Indiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Carmel, Indiana, March, 1998, at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November, 1998, and at the annual conference of the Indiana Council on Family Relations, Muncie, Indiana, January, 1999. A workshop incorporating findings from this study was presented at the annual conference of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Chicago, Illinois, October, 1999.

**Address correspondence to: Miriam R. Hill, Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University, 1269 Fowler House, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1269. hilltree@omni.cc.purdue.edu

Abstract

This exploratory qualitative study used individual interviews and a focus group to investigate how women in Black-White interracial heterosexual partner relationships retrospectively described their racial identity development over the course of the relationships. Racial identity development, social constructionist, and feminist theories guided the grounded theory methodology. Participants described a process of restorying constraining narratives of racial identity into empowering racial identities through three types of strategies: blocking strategies, transforming strategies, and generating strategies.

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