In order to understand the experience and identity development of Black adolescents and young women, it is important to understand the intersection of race and gender, or gendered racial identity development. The study sought to unpack aspects of social identity particularly gendered racial identity from the phenomenological perspective of participants. This study included dyadic focus groups of 17 African American young women between the ages of 15–21. Participants were asked about meaning and salience of gendered racial identity. Results suggest that gendered racial identity had greater salience for the participants as compared to the separate constructs of racial or gender identity. The participants identified with negative stereotypes and images of African American women, issues of colorism and standards of beauty. They also emphasized the importance of self-determination. Furthermore, when asked directly about the meaning of race and gender in their lives participants indicated that race and gender simultaneously influenced their perceptions of themselves. The findings that emerge from this study further the discourse regarding limitations that may occur when using single identity factor models to understand identity development among ethnic minority youth. Implications for prevention programs and areas for future research are included.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 20, 2011
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