Identity Production in Figured Worlds: How Some Multiracial Students Become Racial Atravesados/as

Abstract

Using Holland et al.’s (Identity and agency in cultural worlds, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1998) theory of identity and their concept of figured worlds, this article provides an overview of how twenty-five undergraduates of color came to produce a Multiracial identity. Using Critical Race Theory methodology with ethnographic interviewing as the primary method, I specifically focus on the ways in which Multiracial figured worlds operate within a racial borderland (Anzaldúa in Borderlands: La Frontera—The New Mestiza, Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco, 1987), an alternate, marginal world where improvisational play (Holland et al. in Identity and agency in cultural worlds, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1998) and facultad became critical elements of survival. Participants exercised their agency by perforating monoracial storylines and developed a complex process of identity production that informed their behaviors by a multifaceted negotiation of positionalities. I end by focusing on implications for urban education that can be drawn from this study.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning community(ies).

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Correspondence to Aurora Chang.

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Chang, A. Identity Production in Figured Worlds: How Some Multiracial Students Become Racial Atravesados/as. Urban Rev 46, 25–46 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-013-0247-4

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Keywords

  • Multiracial
  • Racial queer
  • Identity
  • Agency