Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Nia Williams - University of the District of Columbia
Co-Author(s): Alex L. Pieterse, University at Albany, Albany, NY
“Double Consciousness” is a term coined by W.E.B. Dubois in regards to the attitudes of African Americans, who were conditioned to view themselves from the eyes of the majority ethnicity, which is Caucasian. Historically Caucasians have viewed African Americans as inferior. Internalized Racism therefore is the conscious/subconscious internalization of negative stereotypes towards one’s own ethnic/racial group.
This study looks at the correlation between the level of internalized Racism and the Socioeconomic Status (SES) of African Americans. It is hypothesized that as the SES decreases, the level of internalized racism increases. The sample (N= 92) consisted of American adults between the ages of 25-50 years who identified as Black. The participants identified as lower, middle, or upper class. The sample was comprised from secondary data collected by Dr. Alex L. Pieterse. The participants were given two surveys in person, a demographic related one and the Cross Racial Identity Scale (CRIS). The first survey was comprised of demographic information such as age, gender, education level, income level, and perceived socioeconomic level. The second survey used was the Cross Racial Identity Scale (CRIS). It is a 40-item self-administered scale developed to measure racial identity attitudes of people. Specifically it reveals the perspective of how people identify themselves and their racial groups using six subscales. Out of the six subscales, only the pre-encounter self-hatred scale was analyzed.
The results showed the participants who identified as upper class (1.0) had the highest mean of 11.8571 on the Preencounter/self-hatred subscale among the social classes, followed by lower class (3.0) of 10.3600 and then middle class (2.0) of 9.3143. The total mean of the sample is 10.0671. The Critical F figure, calculated by SPSS, was a .551. According to the multiple comparisons table, this number is non-significant compared to the Critical F value of 2.533. Future works could include the investigation of others factors that affect the relationship between internal racism and social class. The significance of the results of this research is to invent culturally salient therapeutic treatments for the African American community.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): The Marc U*Star Honors Program Supported by NIH/NCI-5R25CA129035 / NSF/HBCU-UPHRD-0928444.
Faculty Advisor: Alex L. Pieterse,