The Impact of the Media on Biracial Identity Formation

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Biracial individuals undergo a developmental process that is different than monoracial individuals. Not only do they have to develop a strong and cohesive self-esteem, but also develop a strong and cohesive racial identity to have a healthy self-concept. The media is a social structure that has infiltrated into many aspects of American lives, including their racial identity. The media perpetuates current beliefs concerning race and racial identity. This research investigates how biracial identity has been portrayed in the media. Historically, biracial individuals have been portrayed as the tragic "mulatto" because of their confused racial background. In addition, mulatto women have ... continued below

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Edison, Alicia December 2007.

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This thesis is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 7528 times , with 62 in the last month . More information about this thesis can be viewed below.

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  • Edison, Alicia

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Biracial individuals undergo a developmental process that is different than monoracial individuals. Not only do they have to develop a strong and cohesive self-esteem, but also develop a strong and cohesive racial identity to have a healthy self-concept. The media is a social structure that has infiltrated into many aspects of American lives, including their racial identity. The media perpetuates current beliefs concerning race and racial identity. This research investigates how biracial identity has been portrayed in the media. Historically, biracial individuals have been portrayed as the tragic "mulatto" because of their confused racial background. In addition, mulatto women have been stereotyped as exotic and sexual objects. A content analysis was used to investigate how the media presents biracial identity. Only movies with black/white biracial individuals were watched. The categories under study included perceived race, character's race, skin color, likeability, sex appeal, ability to contribute, ability to be violent, mental health, overall positive portrayal social, and negative portrayal score. This study may suggest that the media is making attempts to rectify old stereotypes. Overall, this study does demonstrate that the media portrays biracial and black characters differently in film. One overarching theme from these results implies that the perception of race is more salient than one's actual race.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • December 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 2, 2008, 3:11 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2013, 12:41 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Edison, Alicia. The Impact of the Media on Biracial Identity Formation, thesis, December 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5185/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .