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Events

May. 20 | 2014 Gabriel Prize
Nominations for 2014 Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in American Studies due

Jun. 30 | 2014 Angela Y. Davis Prize
Nominations for the 2014 Angela Y. Davis Prize for Public Scholarship due

Jun. 30 | 2014 Bode-Pearson Prize
Nominations for the 2014 Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies due

Jun. 30 | 2014 Mary C. Turpie Prize
Nominations for the 2014 Turpie Prize for Outstanding Teaching, Advising, and Program Development in American studies due

Resources: Abstracts of American Studies Dissertations

By University | By Year

Patton, Sandra L. "Birth Marks: An Interdisciplinary Ethnographic Study of Transracial Adoption," American Studies Department, University of Maryland, College Park, August 1997.

Concerns over racial identity have been at the center of public dialogues concerning transracial adoption since it first emerged as a controversial issue in the early 1970s. The central question regarding the appropriateness of this social practice is whether or not White parents are capable of teaching their children African American culture and history, and enculturating them with the survival skills necessary for Blacks to survive in the racially stratified United States. This dissertation is about the social construction of identity, and the connections among identity, race, and public policy. This interdisciplinary ethnography explores the social construction of transracial adoptees’ identities in cultural, political, and historical contexts. I consider public and private narratives linking identity, kinship, culture, social institutions, and the political economy in a range of cultural sites including public policy, political discourse, news coverage, popular culture, the perspectives of social workers in the field of adoption, and the life histories of adult transracial adoptees.