MultiRacial Erasure in Academia 2 — Mixed Student Survey

Most Multiracial students reported experiencing the erasure of one of their ethnoracial identities in college, a nationwide problem

Original MultiRacial Erasure Article

Cristina Diaz (one of my RAs & the Mixed Student Union President here at UC San Diego) and I created a survey item to assess the degree to which Multiracial & Multiethnic undergraduate students feel a part of their identity hasn’t been considered in the opportunities offered to them while in college. This followed from a Zoominar Cristina & I had last week with Windi Sasaki (Program Manager of APIMEDA at UCSD, ranked #8 among U.S. public universities, according to the latest Center for World University Rankings).

Windi provided the links/source material for how Mixed students are coded out of a portion of their potential college experience. The only ones who are spared are those made aware of this Primary Ethnicity coding system who proceed to notify admins that they would like to be included in materials provided for particular groups (because they’re also a member of that group).

Of the 90 Multiracial respondents (and total of 119 who identified as Multiracial and/or Multiethnic), about 61.11% of them indicated experiencing some degree of ethnoracial erasure. After removing the 29 respondents who indicated that they only identify strongly with part of their ethnoracial identity, 90.16% reported experiencing this issue [55 of 61].

A handful (n = 5) of them requested that their information be updated, meaning 81.97% of MultiRacial respondents are still experiencing this issue.

There were also 54 Multiethnic respondents, 29 of which were monoracial Multiethnic. Among all 54 Multiethnic respondents, only 2 indicated that they had done something about the issue.

Monoracial Allyship

Most monoracial respondents indicated allyship with multiracial peers on this issue, with women being more likely to indicate allyship than men.

From Original Post

If we, the Mixed Student Union at UCSD, along with other MSUs, and campus admins who are concerned about this issue — the partial erasure of the college experience of an entire group of students — succeed in this endeavor

it will significantly enrich the college experience of thousands of current students & countless students in the years to come

Methods

There were 302 respondents overall, though only 253 were utilized in the graph calculations as 49 respondents chose an unrelated item (N = 302; n = 253). Of the 253 remaining respondents, 132 were monoracial, 90 were multiracial, and 29 were purely multiethnic (everyone who is multiracial is multiethnic, but not everyone who is multiethnic is multiracial).

Sidenotes

Multiracials’ mating preferences are more likely to cross the color line compared to their monoracial counterparts (Bratter, 2007; Berkowitz et al., 2007; Qian & Lichter, 2007).

Multiracials may also be influenced by media images & narratives of a hierarchy of racial superiority (e.g., the racial hierarchy of mating preferences affords more romantic capital to Asians and Whites than to Blacks and Hispanics (Bonilla-Silva 2004)). The question is whether or not growing up in areas that are more diverse on average (Holloway et al., 2005) may mitigate the influence of the monoracial world. Mixed-race households seek out locations in which they can avoid association with places marked as the terrain of one group or the other (Dalmage, 2000).

Interaction Between Spatial Scales → race mixing within households & racial diversity between households

Consistent with the pattern of results in Robinson et al. (2020), Korgen (1998) found that black-white biracial women who felt rejected by their white male peers were more apt to date black men in order to decrease their chances of being rejected.

Yancey and Lewis (2009), in terms of racial preferences for potential dating partners, Asians specified whites as their second most preferred race (87.3%), behind their own Asian race (92.2%), & blacks were rated lowest on their list of desired races (69.5%) –well below Hispanics (80.5%).

Interracial marriages where the woman was White, and the man was Black or Asian were more likely to divorce (Bratter & King, 2008).

Honorary Whites, who constitute the second tier of the triracial hierarchy (i.e. Asians and light-skinned Hispanics), may be more likely to ‘trade’ up, or date within their own group, rather than dating downwards by seeking partners who are in the ‘collective Black’ group (e.g. Blacks and dark-skinned Hispanics).”

“This tri-racial hierarchy exoticizes certain physical markers of “racial otherness” that Asian, Black, Hispanic, and multiracial workers may embody, while devaluing Afrocentric feminine beauty ideals of natural hair and darker skin.” (Walker, 2018)

Norman & Chen (2020) → many Multiracial individuals decide to identify explicitly as Multiracial (see Rockquemore & Brunsma, 2002).

Of The Polyvalent Nature & Authentic Manifestations of Multiracial Identities

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.

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