Questions and Concerns Regarding Family Theories: Biracial and Multiracial Family Issues



In this chapter, we first identify the major theories of family used by family scientists to aid in our understanding about families. We also identify the specific theories that have been developed to examine the biracial/multiracial individuals. We then map these theories across the typology of biracial identity (Rockquemore, Race and Society, 1(2):197–212, 1999; Rockquemore, Brunsma, Beyond black: Biracial identity in America. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, Lanham, MD, 2008) to assess their utility in helping to explicate issues that we have identified as relevant for our discussion. Finally, we offer critiques of these theories and conclude with the idea as to how the theories can be improved to help us in our understanding of biracial/multiracial families in contemporary America.


Race Bi/multiracial Family theories Social construction Racial identity typology Hypodescent Genealogy Marginal man theory Marginal person model Biracial identity development Panethnic identity model Appearance model Induction Deduction Abduction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Health and Human DevelopmentCalifornia State UniversityNorthridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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