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John Raible

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Department of Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies: Language, Literacy, & Culture
M.A., University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Bilingual/ESL/Multicultural Education
B.A., University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Elementary Education

As an educational researcher and social scientist, my work examines the enactment of identities that become possible within multicultural contexts, for example, in integrated schools, in transracial adoptive families, and other multiracial communities.

Another way to think of my work is investigating the influence of social institutions (e.g., families, schools, juvenile justice, and child welfare) on youth, and the ways professional interventions sometimes result in the marginalization of the young.

Using qualitative tools such as in-depth interviewing, discourse analysis, ethnography, and narratology, I investigate the ways in which the meanings of race and other categories of difference influence personal identities, and how various identities, in turn, can enhance or hinder the process of building caring relationships that transcend racial and cultural boundaries.

I am particularly interested in how and when individuals negotiate the spaces “in-between” one race or culture and another, for example, in how identities become transracialized, and how ""ally"" behaviors emerge.

In another sense, I see my work as an attempt to document the learning processes through which individuals become allies to people who do not share the same status, power, and privileges. How do men learn to take up feminism? What motivates whites to become committed anti-racists? How can straight people learn to speak out against homophobia and heterosexism?


The three main goals of my research agenda are

(1) to contribute to the study of what I view as the “unfinished project” of racial integration by investigating the links between various identities and relationships that transcend lines of difference;

(2) to forward research-based multicultural education practices; and

(3) to strengthen interracial and cross-cultural alliances and relationships within and between diverse families, schools, and communities.

Professional Highlights

Honors and Recognition
2008, "Paulo Freire, Civic Responsibility, and Public Schools: Teachers and Teacher Educators Reflect on Paulo Freire’s Legacy” (symposium panelist), AERA annual meeting2008, “The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Who Decides the Fate of Our Youth?” (guest lecture), Students Taking Academic Control Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2007, “Supporting Family Diversity as Allies in Struggle” (refereed paper session) Iowa Chapter NAME (National Association for Multicultural Education) Conference2007, Invited participant, All Children, All Families (planning conference), Human Rights Campaign’s Family Project2007, “Transracialization in Action: Lessons From White Siblings of Transracial Adoptees,” Transracial Adoption Family Camp, sponsored by PACT/An Adoption Alliance2006, “The Lifelong Impact of Transracial Adoption: Learning From Adoptees and Their Siblings.” (Keynote) 4th Biennial Adoption Conference, St. John’s University2006, "Sharing the Spotlight: The Non-adopted White Siblings of Transracial Adoptees” (paper session) 4th Biennial Adoption Conference, St. John’s University2006, “Sharing the Spotlight: Non-adopted Kids in Transracial Families” (invited presentation), Annual Diversity Conference by Casey Family Services/Child & Family Services of NH/Wide Horizons for Children/Lutheran Social Services of Northern New England2006, "Sharing the Spotlight: The Non-adopted White Siblings of Transracial Adoptees.” (invited presentation) 17th Annual Statewide Adoption Training Conference, New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children2006, “Bridging Modernity and Postmodernity and the Unfinished Struggle for Racial Integration” (paper session) Presidential Invited Session, annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association2005, “Multiple Contexts, Multiple Identities: Pushing the Boundaries of Multicultural Education"" (refereed paper session with S. Nieto, P. Bode & E. Kang) annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association2005, “White Parents, Children of Color” (invited presentation), annual conference of the National Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Children Association (National CASA)2005, “Transracial Adoption as a Lifelong Journey” (invited presentation), University of Washington School of Social Work2005, “The Colors of Family: Exploring Biracial and Transracial Identities” (guest lecture) sponsored by Springfield Public Libraries2005, “Issues in Transracial Adoption” Parent Group Leader Training, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Adoptive Families Together2004, “White Parents, Black Children” (presentation) Black Administrators in Child Welfare (BACW) annual conference2004, “Transracial Adoption as a Lifelong Journey” 1-Day Mini-Conference (featured speaker) Easter Seals Vermont and Vermont Adoption Consortium2004, “Struggle For Identity” Open Door Society/ Adoption Community of New England Annual Conference2004, “Exploring Family Diversity” (in-service staff development training), South Hadley Public Schools2003, "Struggle for Identity"" annual conference of the Open Door Society/Adoption Community of New England“Struggle For Identity: Issues in Transracial Adoption” Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Assistant to the Principal for Minority Student Affairs, Public School Ithaca, New YorkElementary and High School Social Studies Teacher, Public School Ithaca, New YorkElementary Teacher, Public School Compton, CaliforniaTeacher, Public School Navajo Nation, New MexicoSpeaker and Writer, Transracial adoptionPresenter at conferences and workshops for parents, social workers, educators, and others across the United StatesAward Winning Film appearances, "Struggle For Identity: Issues in Transracial Adoption" and "A Conversation 10 Years Later"
American Educational Research Association (AERA)AERA Special Interest Group Multicultural/Multiethnic EducationAERA Special Interest Group Narrative and ResearchAERA Special Interest Group Lesbian & Gay StudiesAERA Special Interest Group Division B, Curriculum Studies AERA Special Interest Group Division G, Social Context of EducationAERA Special Interest Group Division K, Teaching & Teacher EducationNational Association for Multicultural Education (NAME)North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)