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Title: The voices of adopted mixed ethnicity children : ethnic identities, experiences of discrimination and ethnic socialisation
Author: Clarke , Verity
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 4547
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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For several decades, there has been debate over whether white parents can help adopted minority ethnic children to develop a "positive" ethnic identity and cope with racism. Such debates are particularly complex for mixed ethnicity children, as there are particular practical and conceptual difficulties involved in finding them ethnic "matched" adoptive placements. Underpinned by the sociology of childhood and children's rights-based perspectives, this study addressed three research aims: a) how mixed ethnicity adopted children viewed their ethnic identities, particularly in relation to their adoptive identities; b) the children's experiences of discrimination; and c) their adoptive parents' ethnic socialisation approaches. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with adoptive parents (n=18) and children (aged 6-16, n=11). The children's adoptive identity appeared to be a more salient feature of their lives than their ethnicity. Despite most of the children reporting that they had suffered from racism and bullyi ng, the majority of adoptive parents (BME and white) had not prepared their children to cope with discrimination. However, most of the adoptive parents had actively tried to teach their children about their cultural heritage. Adoptive parents had used three different approaches to cope with the ethnic differences in their families: the "colourblind approach", the "finding similarities and acknowledging differences" approach, and the "Iegitimising differences" approach. The findings suggest that adopters need particular pre-adoption training and support to help them to prepare their children for discrimination. However, the salience of adoption in the families' lives suggest that practitioners should not focus on issues relating to children's ethnic identities and side line issues in relation to the children's adoptive identities when selecting, assessing, preparing and supporting adoptive parents.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available