July 14, 2024 · University of Virginia

“What Are You?” Multiracial Identity and the Persistence of Racism in a “Post-Racial” Society

Abstract segment: "In 2000, and for the first time, the U.S. Census allowed individuals to “mark one or more” races, and now the U.S. Census projects that those who choose two or more races will triple by 2050. The occurrence of the “biracial baby boom,” a new post-racial ideology, and the election of the first Black (or biracial depending on one’s categorization) U.S. president have led to great hopes for a nation where race no longer matters. On the other hand, there is persistent discrimination including wide disparities in education, wealth, and employment. Thus, does multiracialism signify that society’s race relations are improving and that we are deconstructing racial categories and racism? Or, does multiracialism naively overlook the continuing vestiges of race and racism and merely reify “race” in efforts to defend the recognition and experiences of those who are “mixed race?” Through a study of 70 people of mixed-race descent, I seek an answer to this debate. I ask: how does multiracial identity manifest itself and align with and/or contest the current racial hierarchy?"
Hephzibah Virginia Strmic-Pawl
University of Virginia
Milton Vickerman
Alison Pugh
Josipa Roska
Vesla Weaver
Department of Sociology
Date Added November 5, 2016
Date Modifed October 17, 2017
Collection UVA scholarship on sexual violence, 1974-

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