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Race and Racism

  • By: Elisha Marr
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Mothering is shaped by race and racism. Racial considerations include birth and fertility rates as well as the similarities and differences in the mothering experiences of various racial groups. Mothering multiracial children, and the adoption of children by mothers of a different race, are also relevant and increasing phenomena. Racism has not only affected mothering in the early United States through the separation and oppression of minority groups, but is evident in contemporary matters such as access to family planning, transracial adoption, and ethnic and cultural biases in policies and practices that affect mothering.

Race as Socially Constructed

Race is a socially constructed concept. Although it includes the possession of distinctive hereditary traits, essential to race is how these traits are used to categorize individuals into certain ...

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