Ethnic Identity of Mexican American Children in the Post Industrial Age

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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 ... continued below

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Tan, Adrian James May 2007.

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  • Tan, Adrian James

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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 cultural evolution of race and ethnic relations in America. Children in this study were merely showing the next stage of the evolution explaining why Mexican American ethnic identity remained strong amidst the current socio-political climate. Implications and suggestions suggest that educators and policy makers should remain vigilant in promoting and facilitating multicultural programs in schools. Parents should play a role in promoting ethnic pride and appreciation of other cultures in order to ensure cultural incorporation. It is important for the social scientist to remain vigilant on the topic and not lose focus under the guise of greater assimilation between minorities and members of the dominant group.

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  • May 2007

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  • Sept. 28, 2007, 10:04 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2013, 12:22 p.m.

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Tan, Adrian James. Ethnic Identity of Mexican American Children in the Post Industrial Age, dissertation, May 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3608/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .