“There Are Stereotypes for Everything”: Multiracial Adolescents Navigating Racial Identity under White Supremacy

Courtney Meiling Jones*, Leoandra Onnie Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the enduring popular view that the rise in the multiracial population heralds our nation’s transformation into a post-racial society, Critical Multiracial Theory (MultiCrit) asserts that how multiracial identity status is constructed is inextricably tied to systems and ideologies that maintain the white supremacist status quo in the United States. MultiCrit, like much of the multiracial identity literature, focuses predominantly on the experiences of emerging adults; this means we know little about the experiences of multiracial adolescents, a peak period for identity development. The current paper uses MultiCrit to examine how a diverse sample of multiracial youth (n = 49; Mage = 15.5 years) negotiate racial identity development under white supremacy. Our qualitative interview analysis reveals: (a) the salience of socializing messages from others, (b) that such messages reinforce a (mono)racist societal structure via discrimination, stereotyping, and invalidation, and (c) that multiracial youth frequently resist (mono)racist assertions as they make sense of their own identities. Our results suggest that multiracial youth are attentive to the myriad ways that white supremacy constructs and constrains their identities, and thus underscores the need to bring a critical lens to the study of multiracial identity development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalSocial Sciences
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Mixed race
  • MultiCrit
  • Multiracial
  • Racial identity development
  • Racial-ethnic socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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