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WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC CHALLENGES OF BI-RACIAL PEOPLE IN AMERICAN SOCIETY - Essay Example

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In the United States alone there are over 4.5 million married and unmarried couples that comprise of two members from different racial or ethnic groups (2000 Census). Multiracial children in the US are rapidly increasing; with 2.4 percent of the American population endorsing two…
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WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC CHALLENGES OF BI-RACIAL PEOPLE IN AMERICAN SOCIETY
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Download file to see previous pages etal pressure, stereotyping and work place discrimination, which not only affect their daily lives but also have an impact on their self-esteem and social interactions.
Ever since the rendering of the anti-miscegenation laws as unconstitutional due to the 1967 decision taken by the Supreme Court, there has been an exponential increase in the amount of interracial couples as well as mixed-race children. However one consistent challenge faced by bi-racial Americans even today is that of identity development, more specifically biracial identity development. Identity development can clearly be defined as a lifelong process, which initiates from an individuals childhood and continues well into one’s adulthood. The key goal of this process is primarily to answer “Who am I?” As simple as this question sounds, one must not forget the fact that the identity of an individual is complex and consists of a number of aspects and domains. Bi-racial identity development is dependent on a number of factors that can rightly be categorized as cultural, historical and social (Tatum, 2003). According to Tatum the formulation of one’s identity is also dependant on individual characteristics, the dynamics of one’s family, factors to do with history, as well as social and political context. These comprise of one’s race, gender, age, environment, exposure, family setup, religion, sexual preference and the social and political climate one is surrounded by. Research shows that highly dependant on the development of identity development is the habits that the bi-racial youth adopts; where an unhealthy and confused identity would lead to engagement in more problematic behavior, such as substance abuse, poor academic performance or even a high school absence (Cloud, 2009).
Being picked on, discriminated, and socially isolated due to their differentiated physical characteristics is another challenge that bi-racial Americans, even today, face. It was in the 18th Century that the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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