Date: May 2012
Creator: Smith, Starita
Description: This dissertation is a qualitative study of racially ambiguous people and their life experiences. Racially ambiguous people are individuals who are frequently misidentified racially by others because they do not resemble the phenotype associated with the racial group to which they belong or because they belong to racial/ethnic groups originating in different parts of the world that resemble each other. the racial/ethnic population of the United States is constantly changing because of variations in the birth rates among the racial/ethnic groups that comprise those populations and immigration from around the world. Although much research has been done that documents the existence of racial/ethnic mixing in the history of the United States and the world, this multiracial history is seldom acknowledged in the social, work, and other spheres of interaction among people in the U.S., instead a racialized system based on the perception of individuals as mono-racial thus easily identified through (skin tone, hair texture, facial features, etc.). This is research was done using life experience interviews with 24 racially ambiguous individuals to determine how race/ethnicity has affected their lives and how they negotiate the minefield of race.
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