Theorising the racial identity development of transracial adoptees: A symbolic interactionist perspective
Abstract:Tina Patel presents findings from an empirical study carried out in Britain in 2000–2003 into the racial identity development of a small sample of adults who were transracially adopted as children. A symbolic interactionist perspective is applied to the analysis of the ways in which, to varying degrees, the adoptees experienced a number of difficulties tied to racial differences from the adoptive family, the racialised questions and categorisations of others, and inclusion and exclusion issues with birth and adoptive heritages. The study also highlights the way in which adoptees had understood and negotiated these difficulties in order to develop a particular type of ethnic identity that incorporates both parts of their birth and adoptive heritages, best represents how the adoptees see themselves and facilitates the pursuit of a positive sense of self. Using these findings, a number of best practice recommendations are made.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2007