Being mixed: Who claims a biracial identity?

Sarah S.M. Townsend*, Stephanie A. Fryberg, Clara L. Wilkins, Hazel Rose Markus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

What factors determine whether mixed-race individuals claim a biracial identity or a monoracial identity? Two studies examine how two status-related factors-race and social class-influence identity choice. While a majority of mixed-race participants identified as biracial in both studies, those who were members of groups with higher status in American society were more likely than those who were members of groups with lower status to claim a biracial identity. Specifically, (a) Asian/White individuals were more likely than Black/White or Latino/White individuals to identify as biracial and (b) mixed-race people from middle-class backgrounds were more likely than those from working-class backgrounds to identify as biracial. These results suggest that claiming a biracial identity is a choice that is more available to those with higher status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Biracial identity
  • Mixed-race
  • Multiracial identity
  • Racial identity
  • Social class

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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