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Multiracial Identity Development: Renn's Ecological Theory of Mixed Race Development

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Chaunte White

on 21 April 2014

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Transcript of Multiracial Identity Development: Renn's Ecological Theory of Mixed Race Development

Multiple Monoracial Identity
Students identify as more than one monoracial groups and represent both of their parents heritage

Students that identify in this way usually have equal knowledge of both parts of their heritage and seek out new information in college

Strong desire to label themselves and acceptance of this label is highly dependent on peers
Monoracial Identity
Close to half of the participants claimed this identity

If one parent was white the identity they chose often represented their non-dominant ancestry

Easy for students whose appearance and cultural knowledge matches the chosen identity

While in college peer groups affect the degree to which a student can assume the chosen identity and have it be accepted
Identity Patterns
Multiracial Identity
(ex: multiracial, biracial, hapa, or mixed)
Extraracial Identity
Students who identify with this category either opt out of racial categorization or do not choose to identify with one of the categories presented in the U.S.

Some of these students are raised outside the U.S. and some believe that race is a social construct with no biological roots

Not many of the students solely identified this way, Renn believed it may be challenging to maintain this stance in a powerful environment such as a college campus that is organized (in part) around racial identity
Situational Identity
Students identify differently in different context
(fairly common,61% of Renn (2004) chose this identity)

These students consider racial identity to be fluid and contextual

Shifting was both deliberate and unconscious

Renn (2004) saw the ability to shift identity in specific contexts as a highly evolved skill
Multiracial Identity Development
Renn's (2004) Ecological Theory of Mixed-Race Identity Development
Ecological Influences
Identity Patterns
"A single identity may be neither possible nor desirable for mixed- race students"
"Different life experiences may lead individuals to change how they identify themselves at various times in their lives"
(ex: African American, Asian American, White, Latino)
(Ex: African American and Asian American or White and Latino)
See themselves outside of the monoracial paradigm

Feel that they share common experiences with mixed race students rather than a specific race

This identification is sometimes public, sometimes private; On campuses where there were groups in which mixed raced students interacted a public identity is more common
*men more likely then women to choose this category
*Students with one white parent and one black parent less likely to choose this category, possibly feel more peer pressure to chose a racial identity
College Student Development
Personal Critique
Implications for Practice
Evans, N.J, Forney, D.S., Guido, F.M., Patton, L.D., & Renn, K.A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.

Renn, K.A., (2004). Mixed race students in college: the ecology of race, identity, and community on campus. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Doesn't choose a racial category
It just depends....
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