Ethnic Identity in Transracially Adopted Young Adults

Open Access
Author:
Lee, Josephine
Area of Honors:
Sociology
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Laurie Katherine Scheuble, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jeffery Todd Ulmer, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Transracially adopted
  • ethnic identity
  • socialization
Abstract:
This study focuses on the ethnic identities of transracially adopted young adults and the factors that contributed to their current identity. Eight adoptees between the ages of 18 and 27 were interviewed regarding their past experiences growing up as transracial adoptees and ethnic minorities. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of socialization by the family and community on the adoptees’ development of their ethnic identities. Comparisons of the adoptees’ accounts revealed that many external factors such as family members, friends, strangers, and race-related experiences, as well as internal factors such as personality and personal interests all influenced their current perception of self. Three factors that seemed to be the most influential on their ethnic identities were parents, friends and peers, and the adoptees’ personal interests in birth culture.