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Renn’s Ecological Theory of Mixed Race Identity Development

American College Student
by

Sharon Jackson

on 23 January 2016

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Transcript of Renn’s Ecological Theory of Mixed Race Identity Development

Building the Theory
The Theory
Trying it Out
The Basics
Renn’s Ecological Theory of Mixed Race Identity Development
Sharon Jackson
Based on three studies
Examined both the process of identity development and experiences
Interviewed 56 multiracial students at six colleges in the Eastern and Midwestern U.S.
Analyzed data based on written responses, observations, focus groups, and archival sources
The Theory
Multiracial people are not a new group, just newly researched
2010 Census
Over nine million multiracial Americans (2.9%)
32% increase from the 2000 Census
Factors such as law changes and improved acceptance of interracial relationships will cause this number to continue to rise
Within this group of students is a large amount of diversity
Multiracial students are doing “the work of identity development on campuses not set up to accommodate those who do not fit into previously defined categories” (Renn, 2000, p. 405)
Why is this theory important?
Kristen Renn
Professor at Michigan State University
Higher Education Administration professor
Researches:
Identity and identity development in higher education
Multiracial college student development and data policy
Women in higher education, both nationally and internationally
New student affairs professionals
LGBTQ issues in higher education
Wrote our textbook!
The Theorist
Space and peer culture are strong influences
Bronfenbrenner’s theory
Multiracial students have fluid identities of themselves
Single identity may not be possible or even wanted for multiracial students
What She Learned
PPCT
Person- family background, extent of cultural knowledge, exposure to diversity, personal appearance
Process- countless opportunities at college to make sense and understand race
Context
Microsystems- positive/negative racial overtones and multiracial and monoracial organizations
Mesosystems- campus culture, permeability of groups on campus
Exosystem- attention to racial issues in curriculum and form options
Macrosystems- How is race and culture viewed and where do multiracial students fit in
Time- great effect on the macrosystem
Bronfenbrenner’s Theory Applied
Monoracial (48%)- Identified with only one of their races. Most common among individuals whose appearances and cultural knowledge allowed them. College microsystems effect this greatly.
Mulitple Monoracial (48%)- Want to label themselves, rather than be labeled. Successfully identify with multiple races, mainly their parents.
Identity Patterns
Multiracial Identity (89%)- Identify themselves by their unique multiracial background. See themselves as outside of the monoracial norm
Extraracial (≈25%)- Opt out of identifying a race. None of the students identified only with this pattern.
Situational- (61%) Changed their identity based on situation and context.
Identity Patterns
Assessment- Know the population on your campus. Is the campus climate conducive?
Policy- Check all that apply
Programming- Offer multiracial and diverse organizations and programming
Structural Diversity- Utilize multiracial faculty and staff as a resource for the institution and students
Curriculum- This is becoming a hot topic, use it to expand the curriculum
Encourage Boundary Crossing- Intentional environmental design that allows for students to collaborate and integrate
Applications
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Case Study
Basu, M. (2012). Census: More people identify as mixed race. CNN. Retrieved from http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/27/census-more-people-identify-as-mixed-race/
Evans, N.J., Forney, D.S., Guido, F.M., Patton, L.D., & Renn, K.A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (2nd ed.; Kindle Fire HD ed.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Renn, K.A. (n.d.). Kristen A. Renn. Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/~renn/
Renn, K.A. (2000). Patterns of situational identity among biracial and multiracial college students. The Review of Higher Education, Volume 23, Number 4, Summer 2000, pp. 399-420. doi: 10.1353/rhe.2000.0019
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
Renn, K.A. (2009). Educational policy, politics, and mixed heritage students in the United States. Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 65, No. 1, 2009, pp. 165-183. Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/%7Erenn/RennJSI2009.pdf
U.S.Census Bureau. (2010). Census. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&prodType=table
References
Renn, K.A. & Jessup-Anger, E.R. (2008). Preparing new professionals: Lessons for graduate preparation programs from the national study of new professionals in student affairs. Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/~renn/RennJessup-Anger08.pdf
Root, M.P.P. (1996). 50 experiences of racially mixed people. Retrieved from http://www.drmariaroot.com/doc/50Experiences.pdf
Interesting Reads for Further Understanding
Space and peer culture are strong influences
Bronfenbrenner’s theory
Multiracial students have fluid identities of themselves
Single identity may not be possible or even wanted for multiracial students
What She Learned
PPCT
Person- family background, extent of cultural knowledge, exposure to diversity, personal appearance
Process- countless opportunities at college to make sense and understand race
Context
Microsystems- positive/negative racial overtones and multiracial and monoracial organizations
Mesosystems- campus culture, permeability of groups on campus
Exosystem- attention to racial issues in curriculum and form options
Macrosystems- How is race and culture viewed and where do multiracial students fit in
Time- great effect on the macrosystem
Bronfenbrenner’s Theory Applied
Monoracial (48%)- Identified with only one of their races. Most common among individuals whose appearances and cultural knowledge allowed them. College microsystems effect this greatly.
Mulitple Monoracial (48%)- Want to label themselves, rather than be labeled. Successfully identify with multiple races, mainly their parents. The acceptance of their label is strongly linked to their peers.
Identity Patterns
Multiracial identity is fluid, changeable, and context based
There is no one way to develop
Society does not treat and react to all “mixtures” the same
The one drop rule can plays a major role
Conclusion
Case #3
Penny “Mixed Kid” Williams is a little bit of everything. She started a multiracial student organization on campus. She loves learning about the stories of other multiracial people. And she does a little leap for joy every time she sees “Check All That Apply” on a survey.
Recognizing Identity Patterns
Basu, M. (2012). Census: More people identify as mixed race. CNN. Retrieved from
http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/27/census-more-people-identify-as-mixed-race/
Evans, N.J., Forney, D.S., Guido, F.M., Patton, L.D., & Renn, K.A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory,
research, and practice (2nd ed.; Kindle Fire HD ed.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Renn, K.A. (n.d.). Kristen A. Renn. Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/~renn/
Renn, K.A. (2000). Patterns of situational identity among biracial and multiracial college students. The Review of Higher
Education, Volume 23, Number 4, Summer 2000, pp. 399-420. doi: 10.1353/rhe.2000.0019
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
Renn, K.A. (2009). Educational policy, politics, and mixed heritage students in the United States. Journal of Social Issues,
Vol. 65, No. 1, 2009, pp. 165-183. Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/%7Erenn/RennJSI2009.pdf
U.S.Census Bureau. (2010). Census. Retrieved from
http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&prodType=table
References
Renn, K.A. & Jessup-Anger, E.R. (2008). Preparing new professionals: Lessons for graduate preparation
programs from the national study of new professionals in student affairs. Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/~renn/RennJessup-Anger08.pdf
Root, M.P.P. (1996). 50 experiences of racially mixed people. Retrieved from
http://www.drmariaroot.com/doc/50Experiences.pdf
Interesting Reads for Further Understanding
Questions?
Each case represents a different Identity Pattern. Identify the predominate identity pattern found in each case.
Case#2
Jessica is a sophomore. She is half white and half Puerto Rican. She has darker complexion and long dark, curly hair. She is a member of H.A.L.O. and speaks fluent Spanish. She also was responsible for organizing the Puerto Rican Day events on campus.
Case #1
Fred is a freshman. He grew up in China and is half Chinese and half black. Whenever completes surveys or assessments he always skips the race question. He does not see the point or importance of this question.
Case #5
Hank is a freshman. He is half black and half white. He is a legacy to both Alpha Phi Alpha (a historically black fraternity) and Phi Delta Theta. As recruitment comes along he is not sure which organization is wants to join because he can easily fit into either environment.
Case #4
Herman is a sophomore. He proudly flaunts that he is African American and Korean, and is clear to correct people if they get it wrong. He participated in many events during Black History Month and Rethinking Race. He often looks for acceptance from his peers about his racial identity.
Photo Credits
Bullseye. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Colored_Bullseye.png
Kristen Renn. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://twitter.com/KrisRenn
Race: Check all that apply. (2008) Retrieved from
http://www.flickr.com/photos/victorlombardi/2511256667/
Full transcript