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Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States$
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Natalie Masuoka

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190657468

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190657468.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2020

Identity Choice

Identity Choice

Changing Practices of Race and Multiracial Identification

(p.1) 1 Identity Choice
Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States

Natalie Masuoka

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the new theoretical approach developed in this book: identity choice or the practice of race as a form of personal identification. The book contends that identity choice is a distinct cultural shift in how Americans define race. Historically race has been defined as a product of assigned classification in which an individual is categorized into a racial group based on the social definitions of that given time. Multiracial Americans are highlighted as an important case of identity choice given that they promote race as a form of identity but reveal the continued importance of assigned classification given that multiracial individuals are often categorized into racial groups by others. This chapter offers a historical analysis contrasting the reliance on assigned classification with the development of identity choice. The final sections of the chapter offer an overview of each chapter of the book.

Keywords:   identity, racial formation, civil rights, multiracial, mixed race, politics, census

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