The Graduate Forum

an interdisciplinary forum at New York University 

January 31, 2007
Presenter: Erika Niwa

In January of 2007, I presented on a paper that I am co-authoring on the role of the context in understanding adolescents' lived experiences of their ethnic identity. Before jumping into the description of the article, my presentation focused on the ways that developmental psychologists conceive of adolescence, as well as the development of identity, generally, and ethnic identity, specifically. We explored how ethnic identity has been both conceptualized and measured, as well as the critiques of the existing literature on the topic. Finally, we discussed my forthcoming paper on how Chinese, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and African American adolescents describe their lived experiences of ethnic identity. In particular, the discussion focused on the varying role that school and peer hierarchies play in shaping not only who the adolescents think they are, but more importantly, who they do not want to be. The paper focused on in this presentation is currently in press and will be published in a forthcoming special issue of the monograph New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development. The special volume is edited by Margarita Azmitia, Moin Syed, and Kim Radmacher and is entitled Bridging identities, bridging disciplines: An interdisciplinary look at the development of intersecting identities.










New York University

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences