Date: May 2007
Creator: Tan, Adrian James
Description: Ethnic identity of Mexican American children under the current socio-political climate was studied. Mexican American children were expected to display symptoms of ethnic ambivalence and self-rejection. Using the Kenneth and Mamie Clark (1947) Brown doll/White doll experiment as a model, data were gathered using a mixed model. This approach combed features of experimental designs, survey research, and qualitative methods. Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered from a purposive sample of 104 children and some of their parents. They were between the ages of 3 to 15, resided in northeastern Texas, and most were White (n=70) or Hispanics (mostly Mexican American) (n=21) the remainder being Asian (n=13). Children self-identified across ethnic lines, and treated play preference, self-identification, and attractiveness separately. Children did not reflect social stereotypes and society's hierarchy. Instead, they portrayed other ethnic groups positively. Current theoretical approaches provided argue that strong ethnic identification and cultural incorporation displayed by the children may be a result of better integration and assimilation; conversely, it may be a product of the “false consciousness” driven by a global market and the culture of individualistic consumerism. An alternative theoretical perspective argues that the apparent cultural incorporation of children was a result of the social ...
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