This interview-based study examines identity formation in transracial adoptions. There are high concerns in the ethics and morals of transracial adoptions because of the uncertainty of the parents’ ability to properly raise a child of different origins. Transracial adoptees are forced to balance multiple identities: the one they were raised in and the one they were born from. Thus, there are many issues that arise in adoptees’ formation of the self. For these reasons, my study explores how social institutions and the environment influence adoptees’ identities. A total of ten interviews, six adoptees and four parents in transracial families, were conducted to collect data. Using W.E.B Du Bois theory of double consciousness, George Herbert Mead’s theory of self and society, and Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition, my findings uncovered that the adoptees’ social realm and the parents’ decisions while raising them had the most negative influence on their identities. These results suggest the parents’ need for racial socialization and highlight the importance of exposing the adoptees to a diverse environment to positively shape the adoptees’ identities.


Matsuzawa, Seiko


Sociology and Anthropology




Identity, Transracial Adoptions

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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