Princeton University Library Catalog

Accepted or Antagonized, Beloved or Betrayed: Black Perceptions of Interracial Relationships

Author/​Artist:
Celistan, Morgan [Browse]
Format:
Senior thesis
Language:
English
Advisor(s):
Shelton, Nicole [Browse]
Department:
Princeton University. Department of Psychology [Browse]
Class year:
2016
Description:
58 pages
Summary note:
The following three studies surveyed Black participants from the general population and from Princeton University to examine their attitudes toward a Black male target depicted with a Black or White female co-worker or romantic partner. Participants were asked to give ratings of the target specifically regarding acceptance, admiration, perceived racial centrality, perceived comfort with the racial ingroup, and betrayal. Study 1 found that participants who saw the target depicted with a Black partner accepted the target more and thought the target to be more accepting of the participant. Additionally, the target was more admired and race was seen to be more central to his sense of self. When shown with a White romantic partner, the target was perceived as being a betrayer of his race more than in any other condition. Study 2, which surveyed Princeton undergraduates, had contradictory findings, specifically regarding anticipated acceptance by the target, but supported the findings of the first study on perceived racial centrality. It also found that the target was seen as having more comfort with his racial ingroup when with a Black co-worker than a Black romantic partner and, conversely, when with a White romantic partner rather than a White co-worker. Study 3, again surveying a subset of the general Black population, did not yield any significant results, but the raw data trended toward the results of the first study. The findings and comparisons of these three studies expose a gap in the literature and raise questions about what differs between the general population and Black Princeton to produce conflicting results about acceptance from Black peers. Additionally, it offers a new perspective into understanding how the Black community perceives Black individuals who engage in interracial relationships.