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Occupying third space: Hybridity and identity matrices in the multiracial experience

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Chapter Summary

The vast bulk of this work focuses on investigating multiracials' racial identities, or their racial self-understandings. Here the author wishes to move away from the either/or approach to understanding multiracial identity - either general identity processes of multiracials or racial identity processes of multiracials - and move toward a both/and approach that recognizes the fullness of multiracial experience by studying the identity matrices of these "hybrid" multiracials in a multiracial third space. It is focussed on six predominant ones: social identities, political identities, cultural identities, physical identities (embodiment), and formal/institutional identities, and particularly the role of racial identity in each of these five identities. The respondents in this study had unique understandings of their political identities. The truly central question for this chapter also appeared in the Survey of Biracial Experience but has not been previously explored: Individuals have many different types of identities.

Keywords: Black-White Multiracial People; Culture; Hybridity; Identity Matrices; Multifaceted Identities; Multiracials; Occupying Third; Theory; Third Space



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