Gender Identity Of Black Young Women Essay

Gender Identity Of Black Young Women Essay

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“Gendered Racial Identity of Black Young Women”
With the expressed concentration in building of identity in children, this article defined identity as “a phenomenological experience of coming to understand oneself; identity is lived discourse” (Thomas, Hacker, and Hoxka 530). The importance of developing social identity is stressed as the membership to certain groups’ potential for positive association to identity is crucial for children’s identity as a whole to their concept of self. Race is primarily targeted in the early stages of research when studying the “role of race and ethnicity” to the concepts of self-identity in both the general and social settings (Thomas, Hacker, and Hoxka 530). The article refers to the Clark doll studies, which was a study of children that showed that African American children typically chose more positive associations to white dolls as a sign of “internalizing negative stereotypes” than to African American dolls (Thomas, Hacker, and Hoxka 530). The positive attributes to racial identity were suggested to be caused by encouraging situations from African Americans’ childhood.
The article suggests the focus has been placed in recent studies on the developing identity for gender expectations and roles for African Americans. As noted in the article, women originally have “naïve beliefs regarding gender” to having a greater, refined acceptance of their identity in the regards to their gender (Thomas, Hacker, and Hoxka 531). Studies have shown that women associate perceptions of bias, gender expectations, and self-esteem to their identity as an adult woman. According to the article, the characteristics of being a female are “passivity, submissiveness, and nurturance” (Thomas, Hacker, and Hoxka 531). The...

... middle of paper ...

...ed and having determination.
The development of their gendered racial identity is influenced by the negative experiences that occur by interacting with different cultural groups. Some of the young women who participated in the study had internal struggles with their appearance based on the standard of beauty that is based on European women. Being able to develop the standard of beauty for young African American women is difficult because of society’s often rejection of their standards of beauty and looks to undermine the self-image developed by these young women.
The study reported that women often had more complications with experiences of gendered race identity rather than of experiences with race and gender as separate entities. Studies have suggested the development of racial identity to come before the development of gender identity for African American women.

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