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The Lines of Color Aren’t Always Clear. Linda Ueki Absher Portland State University Library. Overview. Multiracials: is there a definition? Who are they? History and Stereotypes Major Research Topics Issues regarding research and access Resources Print/Online Web/Web 2.0.

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the lines of color aren t always clear

The Lines of Color Aren’t Always Clear

Linda Ueki Absher

Portland State University Library

overview
Overview
  • Multiracials: is there a definition?
  • Who are they?
  • History and Stereotypes
  • Major Research Topics
  • Issues regarding research and access
  • Resources
    • Print/Online
    • Web/Web 2.0
multiracials a definition
Multiracials: A Definition?
  • US Census: technically no “multiracial” or “biracial” category

“Instead of allowing a multiracial category…. the OMB adopted the Interagency Committee's recommendation to allow respondents to select one or more races when they self-identify”

    • Has never used the same race categories for more than three consecutive censuses
multiracials who are they
Multiracials: Who Are They?
  • 2.4% of the U.S. population
  • Mostly from Generation Y (5-24)
    • 42% of multiracials are under 18
      • Might be due to changing attitudes towards identity
    • Second Largest Group? Baby Boomers!
  • Most common identification?
    • White and another race
who are they continued
Who Are They? (continued)
  • Location: 40% live in the West
    • Live in large metro areas in large, diversely populated states
  • Education (25+ age group):
    • 22% -- Some college (21% total US)
    • 12.6% -- Bachelor’s degree: (15.5%)
    • 26.7% -- Less than an HS degree
      • Compare with total US %: 19.6%
history and stereotypes
History and Stereotypes
  • Then:
    • Tragic Mulatto
    • Sayonara/Love is A Many Splendored Thing
    • Evil (Temptress/Rapist/Violent)
    • Amerasian Orphan
    • Sage/Mystic (Native American)
  • Now:
    • Beautiful/Exotic (models, celebrities, etc)
    • Sexual
    • Sad and Confused – Tragic Mulatto redux
the reality
The Reality

Images courtesy of Kip Fulbeck: http://www.seaweedproductions.com/hapa/default.htm

the reality1
The Reality

Images courtesy of Kip Fulbeck: http://www.seaweedproductions.com/hapa/default.htm

the reality2
The Reality

Images courtesy of Kip Fulbeck: http://www.seaweedproductions.com/hapa/default.htm

major research topics
Major Research Topics
  • Identity
    • Intersection with other identities (gender, class, age, etc.)
    • “Passing” and appearance issues
  • History/Politics
    • Categorization, census, laws, etc.
  • Adoption
  • Families
  • Relationships
interracial studies research the poor stepchild
Interracial Studies Research: The Poor Stepchild
  • Not a separate field of study
    • Usually subsumed under other fields
  • Works clustered mostly in the Social Sciences
    • Sociology, Psychology, Social Work, Education, etc.
  • Fiction/Memoirs
  • Juvenile Literature
interracial studies research
Interracial Studies Research
  • The Bible:

Multiracial America : a resource guide on the history and literature of interracial issues / Karen Downing, et al

as a field of study
As a Field of Study….
  • New field of research
    • Most published within last 15-20 years
  • Difficult to locate materials using traditional library tools
    • Inconsistent terminology
    • LC Subject Headings & Classifications
    • Results often muddied with off-topic retrievals
      • Eurasian” – geology, etc.
      • “Interracial”– labor organizing, groups, etc.
  • Some materials may be biased, inaccurate and/or offensive
lc subject headings
LC Subject Headings
  • LC Subject Headings: Old? Outdated? Offensive?

“Children of interracial marriage”

“Racially mixed children”

”Racially mixed people”

    • Outdated subject headings still linger in records
      • e.g., “Miscegenation”, “Mulattoes”, etc.
lc classifications the poor stepchild
LC Classifications: The Poor Stepchild
  • Many resources located in the E184-E185.98 range
    • E184: “Elements in the Population” --“racial, ethnic and religious groups that have significance in the history of the US”
    • E185-E185.98: “African Americans”
  • HQ777.9: “Racially mixed children”
  • HQ1031: “Interracial offspring”
notable authors works
Notable Authors/Works
  • Maria Root
    • One of the earliest published scholars on multiracial identity
  • Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk about Race and Identity, Lise Funderburg
  • Half and Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural, Claudine O’Hearn
databases
Databases
  • Dissertation Abstracts
    • Best resource re interracial issues as a distinct research area
    • No subject headings; ever-changing keywords
  • Ethnic Newswatch
    • Features articles from ethnic and minority presses
    • Not quite as strong as an academic resource
    • Subject headings have changed
databases continued
Databases (continued)
  • PsycInfo
    • Subject Heading: Interracial Offspring
      • Not applied consistently
  • Masterfile
    • Excellent general resource
    • “Multiraciality”??
the world wide web
The World Wide Web
  • More defined topic
    • Hundreds of sites dedicated to all aspects of this topic
  • Less academic, reliable info
  • Loop: more mulitracial/biracial folks finding information and each other, the more information and interest generated.
notable websites general information
Notable Websites - General Information
  • Stanford University: Research Quick Start Guide: Ethnic Identity
  • Resources By and About Interracial & Multi-Cultural People: www-personal.umich.edu/~kdown/multi.html
notable websites general information1
Notable Websites - General Information

Stanford University: Research Quick Start Guide:

library.stanford.edu/depts/ssrg/adams/shortcu/ethi.html

online journals interracial voice
Online Journals: Interracial Voice

Interracial Voice: www.webcom.com/~intvoice/

online journal multiracial activist
Online Journal: Multiracial Activist

Multiracial Activist: multiracial.com/site

organizations associations
Organizations/Associations

Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA): www.ameasite.org

organizations associations1
Organizations/Associations

Project Race: www.projectrace.com

organizations associations2
Organizations/Associations

MAVIN: www.mavin.net

organizations associations3
Organizations/Associations

Swirl: www.swirlinc.org

web 2 0
Web 2.0
  • MySpace! (http://myspace.com)
    • Several biracial/multiracial groups
  • mixedrace.com
  • Youtube.com
    • Several videos of Jen Chau of Swirl.com (“Addicted to Race”)
myspace hapas
MySpace: Hapas

http://groups.myspace.com/hapas

myspace mixed race
MySpace: Mixed Race

http://groups.myspace.com/mixed

youtube com addicted to race
YouTube.com: Addicted to Race

http://youtube.com/watch?v=TJ8WXxnN0TI

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Traditional resources and avenues of research
    • Fragmented, inconsistent
    • Usually tacked on with another area of study
    • Growing interest evidenced by Dissertation Abstracts
conclusions1
Conclusions
  • World Wide Web
    • More resources begin appearing
      • Guides, associations, electronic lists
    • Creating more interest in the subject?
  • Web 2.0
    • Explosion of interest
    • Demand will probably drive the development of information resources
questions
Online resources and links:

http://del.icio.us/absherl/multiracial

Presentation: http://web.pdx.edu/~absherl/jclc/jclc.ppt

Questions?
thank you
Thank You!

Linda Ueki Absher: absherl@pdx.edu