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ERIC Number: EJ882699
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
Do You See What I Am? How Observers' Backgrounds Affect Their Perceptions of Multiracial Faces
Herman, Melissa R.
Social Psychology Quarterly, v73 n1 p58-78 2010
Although race is one of the most salient status characteristics in American society, many observers cannot distinguish the racial ancestries of multiracial youth. This paper examines how people perceive multiracial adolescents: specifically, I investigate whether observers perceive the adolescents as multiracial and whether these racial perceptions are congruent with the multiracial adolescents' self-identifications. Results show that 1) observers perceived close to half of multiracial targets as monoracial, 2) multiracial targets who identified themselves as black were nearly always perceived as black but not always as multiracial, and 3) the demographic and environmental characteristics of observers had no bearing on the congruence of their racial perceptions. That is, regardless of their own demographic characteristics or exposure to people of other races, observers were more congruent when examining targets who self-identified as black or white and less congruent when identifying targets from Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, or Middle Eastern backgrounds. Despite the demographic trend toward multiracialism in the United States, observers' perceptions may maintain the status quo in race relations: a black-white dichotomy where part-blacks remain in the collective black category. (Contains 10 footnotes, 6 tables, and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States