Living the multiracial experience: Shifting racial expressions, resisting race, and seeking community

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The growing presence and visibility of mixed race persons in the US demands that social workers critically examine and understand the complexity of multiracial identity. This qualitative investigation examined the narratives of ten multiracial adults about their identity experiences living as multiracial persons. Utilizing paradigmatic analysis of narratives, five major themes emerged. Four of these themes correspond to categories found in existing multiracial scholarship, and include: (1) Shifting racial/ethnic expressions; (2) Racial/ethnic ambiguity; (3) Feeling like an outsider; and (4) Seeking community. The final theme, (5) Racial resistance, contributes new knowledge to our understanding of how multiracial individuals respond to societal pressures to conform to traditional means of categorizing others by race. Findings from this study confirm a collective multiracial experience; one with direct ties to the social and environmental pressures associated with having a multifaceted identity in a color-conscious society. Practice implications and directions for future research are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-60
Number of pages19
JournalQualitative Social Work
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Keywords

  • Ethnic Identity
  • Mixed Race
  • Multiracial
  • Narrative Research
  • Racial Identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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