Brown on the inside : multiracial individuals and white privilege Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tb09j8226

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  • Biracial and Multiracial people are one of the fastest growing racial groups in the United States. Individuals with a mixed identity have the ability to choose endless racial/ethnic designations that best exemplify their racial/ethnic social identity. However, people who are racially/ethnically mixed may receive criticism if their proclaimed identity does not coincide with the societal perceptions of their racial/ethnic identity. People who identify with more than one race or ethnicity and have White ancestry can be perceived as White by society. Therefore, Biracial and Multiracial people have the ability to pass as White if they have White ancestry and appear White. This study explored racially/ethnically mixed peoples' perceptions of passing as White. Qualitative surveys were conducted to find if Biracial and Multiracial people thought they could pass as White. When Biracial and Multiracial people have the ability to pass as White, they are associated with the White group. Association with the White group equates to being afforded advantages and benefits. Thus, White privilege may be afforded to racially/ethnically mixed people who pass as White. Qualitative interviews were used to explore if Biracial and Multiracial people identified with having White privilege. The research also examined the connection between Multiracial/ethnic people who can pass as White and White privilege. Findings suggest racially/ethnically people who can pass as White identified with having White privilege. Moreover, participants and a research team evaluation identified factors that contribute to passing as White. The findings presented in this study are significant as it explores the intersection between Biracial and Multiracial identity, passing as White, and White privilege. The information presented in this study implies that the phenomenon of passing is an important concept toward social justice and racial equity.
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