Ursula Moffitt

Ursula Moffitt
Wheaton College (MA)

Doctor of Philosophy

About

28
Publications
7,134
Reads
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234
Citations
Introduction
My work is situated in developmental, cultural, and educational psychology. I take a social justice approach to the study of identity construction and content, examining the reciprocal relations between individuals and their environments from childhood to early adulthood. I am primarily interested in racial, national, and gender identity, as well as their intersections, investigating how individuals from across groups resist or reinforce norms and structures of power, privilege, and oppression.
Additional affiliations
September 2019 - June 2022
Northwestern University
Position
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
November 2014 - April 2019
Universität Potsdam
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
October 2011 - March 2013
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Field of study
  • German Turkish studies
September 2010 - June 2011
Middle East Technical University
Field of study
  • German Turkish studies
January 2007 - June 2007
New York University
Field of study
  • Human Development in Context

Publications

Publications (28)
Preprint
There is an inextricable link between humans and their cultural environments, as each reciprocally creates and is created by the other. This chapter discusses interviewing as a critical methodological tool for understanding culture as intricately intertwined with subjective meaning-making and identity processes. We start from the premise that the s...
Article
Full-text available
Ethnic-racial identity (ERI) is an important aspect of youth development and has been well-studied for the last several decades. One issue less discussed is how the construct of ERI translates across different countries and cultures. The purpose of our paper is to describe the sociohistorical context of Germany and implications for the study of eth...
Article
Full-text available
Children in the United States grow up in a context wherein colorblindness and racism coexist. This article examined how colorblindness functions as a societal “master narrative” that shapes how children construct their own racial identities. Data were collected via semi‐structured interviews with 217 Black, White, and Multiracial children (Mage = 9...
Article
Full-text available
Research on racial identity among Youth of Color has expanded considerably in recent years, but a parallel examination of racial identity among white youth has not occurred, reiterating whiteness as normative. We applied Janet Helms’s White Racial Identity Development (WRID) model among white U.S. youth (8–14 years old) to address this research gap...
Article
Full-text available
As developmental scholars increasingly study ethnic and racial identity among white youth, careful reflection is needed regarding its framing, implementation, and interpretation. In this three‐part conceptual paper, we offer a foundation for such reflection. First, we discuss the sociocultural context of white supremacy that shapes U.S. society, ps...
Article
Full-text available
Across continental Europe, educational research samples are often divided by ‘migrant background’, a binary variable criticized for masking participant heterogeneity and reinforcing exclusionary norms of belonging. This study endorses more meaningful, representative, and precise research by offering four guiding questions for selecting relevant, so...
Article
Full-text available
Schools are key contexts for the development of adolescents’ critical consciousness. We explored how three dimensions of the classroom cultural diversity climate (critical consciousness, color-evasion, and multiculturalism) related to adolescents’ critical reflection (i.e., perceived societal Islamophobia) and intended critical action (i.e., politi...
Article
Full-text available
Being perceived as a foreigner regardless of one’s generational status, citizenship, or self-identification is called foreigner objectification. This is a form of identity denial and is linked to psychological distress. To test how foreigner objectification could be measured in Europe, we assessed whether the Foreigner Objectification Scale demonst...
Chapter
There is an inextricable link between humans and their cultural environments, as each reciprocally creates and is created by the other. This chapter discusses interviewing as a critical methodological tool for understanding culture as intricately intertwined with subjective meaning making and identity processes. We start from the premise that the s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Across continental Europe, educational research samples are often divided by ‘migrant background,’ a binary variable criticized for masking participant heterogeneity and reinforcing exclusionary norms of belonging. This study endorses more meaningful, representative, and precise research by offering four guiding questions for selecting relevant, so...
Article
As cultural diversity is increasing around the globe, a more nuanced understanding of the cultural diversity climate in classroom settings is needed, including how its different aspects relate to student outcomes. We developed the Classroom Cultural Diversity Climate Scale (CCDCS), integrating theory and research from social psychology and multicul...
Article
Full-text available
Among emerging adults, peers are central to ethnic-racial identity (ERI) exploration, acting as primary interlocuters in discussions about ethnicity and race. Although ERI development is understood as adaptive, particularly for young people of color, ethnicity and race related conversations are often highly charged, and can consist of both positive...
Article
Full-text available
We examined whether German adolescents who participated in an adapted 8-week school-based intervention, the Identity Project, reported greater changes in heritage and global identities and perceptions of classroom cultural climate. We used a longitudinal, wait-list control design pooling eight classrooms across the school years of 2018-2019 and 201...
Preprint
Full-text available
Among emerging adults, peers are central to ethnic-racial identity (ERI) exploration, acting as primary interlocuters in discussions about ethnicity and race. Although ERI development is understood as adaptive, particularly for young people of color, ethnicity and race related conversations are often highly charged, and can consist of both positive...
Preprint
Among emerging adults, peers are central to ethnic-racial identity (ERI) exploration, acting as primary interlocuters in discussions about ethnicity and race. Although ERI development is understood as adaptive, particularly for young people of color, ethnicity and race related conversations are often highly charged, and can consist of both positive...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing application of intersectionality to the psychological study of identity development raises questions regarding how we as researchers construct and operationalize social identity categories, as well as how we best capture and address systems of oppression and privilege within our work. In the continental European context, the use of t...
Article
We investigate how economic immigrants in Canada negotiate their identity in the process of “becoming Canadian” through an analysis of public texts. Drawing on the master narrative framework, we examine the interplay between individual and societal narratives as immigrants grapple with the tension between notions of “desirable” immigrants as those...
Article
Full-text available
Despite growing European and global interconnectedness, questions of national identity have only gained in importance in recent years. Yet the role researchers play in perpetuating norms of national belonging has gone largely unexamined. Who is included in unmarked national group labels such as German, Dutch, or Danish, who is understood as Other,...
Article
Full-text available
Recent discursive research has built on Michael Billig's theory of banal nationalism, arguing that minoritized individuals who explicitly claim adherence to a national group may be further marginalized from a perceived majority who view such acts as socially undesirable. In Germany, a master narrative of muted national pride precludes hot nationali...
Research
Full-text available
Fast jeder würde zustimmen, dass Kinder ein Recht auf Bildung haben. Doch es gibt sehr viele strukturelle und zwischenmenschliche Hindernisse, die Schülerinnen und Schüler davon abhalten, sich in ihren Klassenräumen wohlzufühlen. Zugehörigkeitsgefühle in der Schule stehen im Zusammenhang mit globaleren Fragen, zum Beispiel, ob sie sich in dem Land,...
Article
Recent discursive research has built on Michael Billig's theory of banal nationalism, arguing that minoritized individuals who explicitly claim adherence to a national group may be further marginalized from a perceived majority who view such acts as socially undesirable. In Germany, a master narrative of muted national pride precludes hot nationali...
Article
Full-text available
Turkish heritage students are underrepresented at university-track secondary schools in Germany, yet the institutional discrimination contributing to this ongoing disparity often remains unquestioned, situated within inequitable norms of belonging. Drawing on critical race theory and a risk and resilience framework, the current study investigated t...
Article
Full-text available
Schools are important for the academic and socio-emotional development, as well as acculturation of immigrant- and refugee-background youth. We highlight individual differences which shape their unique experiences, while considering three levels of the school context in terms of how they may affect adaptation outcomes: (1) interindividual interacti...
Article
Objective: We examined whether two key emotion regulation strategies, cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, moderated the relations between discrimination (i.e., foreigner objectification and general denigration) and adjustment. Methods: Participants were U.S. Latino/a and Asian-heritage college students (N = 1,279, 67% female, 72% U...
Book
Full-text available
In dieser Masterarbeit wird eine konstruktivistische Diskursanalyse durchgeführt um die These zu unterstüt-zen, dass eine grundlegende Umgestaltung im amerikanischen Verständnis der türkisch-amerikanischen Be-ziehung unter Präsident Obama im zuge eines übergeordneten Wandels der amerikanischen Außenpolitik stattgefunden hat. Anhand einer analytisch...
Article
Au cours des decennies passees, les entreprises ont commence a reagir aux pressions societales croissantes en orientant leurs objectifs axes seulement sur la maximalisation du profit vers trois composantes de base, les personnes, la planete et le profit. Depuis l’introduction de ce concept, les initiatives de durabilite centrees sur les personnes e...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past decades, business has begun reacting to growing societal pressures by broadening its focus from profit maximization alone to the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profit.1 In the years since this concept was first introduced, people and planet focused sustainability initiatives have become standard practice amongst businesses...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
In this longitudinal, mixed-methods project funded by the National Science Foundation we are examining how college-going emerging adults develop and make meaning about their identities and equity related beliefs in the context of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, racial justice protests, and COVID-19 pandemic.
Archived project
In this doctoral research we examined the ways in which inequitable and racialized norms and expectations of national belonging in Germany play out across contexts from school to research to everyday life. Using qualitative interviews and content analysis we highlighted the regular harm done by white teachers and researchers as they reinforce boundaries around a white German ingroup, as well as the ways in which Turkish German young adults navigate and resist this inequity across developmental periods.