Youth in the United States receive countless messages about the meanings and consequences of racial group membership. The processes through which these racialized messages are transmitted, known collectively as ethnic-racial socialization, are known to influence youths’ psychosocial and academic development—especially their ethnic-racial identity. However, most studies have focused exclusively on parents’ roles in the ethnic-racial socialization process. In the present study, drawing on semi-structured interviews with 64 Black adolescents, we examined youths’ descriptions of their experiences with (and understandings of) race to provide an “up-close” view of the sources and processes involved in ethnic-racial socialization. In addition to providing further evidence of the roles of parents and school curricula in shaping youths’ racial beliefs, results suggested that ethnic-racial socialization messages frequently emerged from youths’ direct and vicarious exposure to racial discrimination and inequality in the schools they attended, the public places they visited, and in the media they consumed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)