University of Illinois at Chicago

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Racial Socialization in Black-White Interracial Families

posted on 2022-05-01, 00:00 authored by Piere E. Washington
Today, we know that black-white interracial couples and their progeny are a continuously increasing segment of the U.S. population. There is a dearth of research, however, that examines the ways in which these parents provide racial socialization to their children. The scholarship that does exist on interracial families suggests that racial socialization may be more complicated within interracial families where family members do not necessarily share similar racial identities. Whereas the existing research on black-white racial socialization has been largely focused on identity, this research explores racial identity as just one avenue of a broader racial socialization process. Utilizing a qualitative approach, in-depth interviews were conducted with 31 parents with children from black-white interracial families. This research contributes to our understanding of both racial socialization in interracial families and intersectionality as it informs parenting practices. More specifically, this research offers insight on the following two questions: 1) How do black-white interracial couples understand race? 2) And, how do black-white interracial couples help their children to understand and navigate race, racial identity, and racism. Findings from this research suggest that parents’ understandings of race are not contingent upon a parent’s race nor intersection of race and gender. The research offers evidence to support that parents provide racial socialization with different levels of intentionality. Additionally, this research suggests that intersections of children’s race and gender inform how parents talk with their children about race and racism.



Garcia, LorenaLewis, Amanda


Garcia, LorenaLewis, Amanda



Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Risman, Barbara Bailey, Amy Hagerman, Margaret

Submitted date

May 2022

Thesis type



  • en

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