The Lived Experience of Mixed-Race Identity
Jessica Pons dissertation 2013.pdf (856.6Kb)
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This study shows a phenomenological account of the mixed-race lived experience. Previous research focused on mixed-race White/Black individuals and mainly consisted of American studies. For this study, six British young adults were interviewed. The participants self identified as mixed-race, all had one Black parent and one White or Indian. Transcripts were analysed using the qualitative method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four master themes emerged, Wholeness: more than just the parts; Neither Black nor White; Appearances: a mixed-blessing; and Journeying identity. The mixed-race experience was found to be highly heterogeneous although all had reached a mixed-race identity. Contextual factors such as upbringing, the presence of Black others and the ability to deconstruct race affected how they identified. Some participants felt strongly that they did not fit into a monoracial world. This was due to other people’s perceptions, others had no such issue. Multiple identities were held and identities were fluid, supporting past research. These findings deepen our understanding of the dynamic nature of mixed-race racial identity and the diverse factors that influence such identities, providing a sound base for further research.