Racial queer : multiracial college students at the intersection of identity, education and agency

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Title: Racial queer : multiracial college students at the intersection of identity, education and agency
Author: Chang-Ross, Aurora
Abstract: Racial Queer is a qualitative study of Multiracial college students with a critical ethnographic component . The design methods , grounded in Critical Race Methodology and Feminist Thought (both theories that inform Critical Ethnography ) , include : 1 ) 25 semi -structured interviews of Multiracial students , 2 ) of which 5 were expanded into case studies , 3 ) 3 focus groups , 4 ) observations of the sole registered student organization for Multiracial students on Central University’s campus , 5 ) field notes and 6 ) document analysis . The dissertation examines the following question : How do Multiracial students understand and experience their racialized identities within a large , public , tier -one research university in Texas ? In addition , it addresses the following sub -questions : How do Multiracial students experience their racialized identities in their everyday interactions with others , in relation to their own self -perceptions and in response to the way others perceive them to be ? How do Multiracial students’ positionalities , as they relate to power , privilege , phenotype and status , guide their behavior in different contexts and situations ? Using Holland et al .’s (1998 ) social practice theory of self and identity , Chicana Feminist Theory , and tenets of Queer Theory , this study illustrates how Multiracial college students utilize agency as racial queers to construct and negotiate their identities within a context where identity is both self -constructed and produced for them . I introduce the term , racial queer , to frame the unconventional space of the Multiracial individual . I use this term not to convey sexuality , but to convey the parallels of queerness (both as a term of empowerment and derogation ) as they pertain to being Multiracial . In other words , queerness denotes a unique individuality as well as a deviation from the norm (Sullivan , 2003 ; Warner , 1993 ; Gamson , 2000 ) . The primary purpose of this study is to illustrate the agentic ways in which Multiracial college students come to understand and experience the complexity of their racialized identity production . Preliminary findings suggest the need to expand the scope of racial discourses to include Multiracial experiences and for further study of Multiracial students . Their counter -narratives access an otherwise invisible student population , providing an opportunity to broaden critical discourses around education and race .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1091
Date: 2010-12-02

Citation

Racial queer : multiracial college students at the intersection of identity, education and agency. Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1091 .

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