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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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Advocating for Choice

Advocating for Choice

Political Views of Multiracial Activists

(p.52) 3 Advocating for Choice
Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States

Natalie Masuoka

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents data from in-depth interviews taken with activists who lobby on behalf of multiracial identities. It begins with a review of the multiracial movement to change the racial identification question on the 2000 census and outlines how activism changed after the mark-one-or-more races option on the census racial identification question was implemented. Interview data is split into two samples: those who personally self-identify as multiracial and those who are white mothers of biracial children. Interviews with self-identified multiracial activists demonstrates a clear worldview about race that emphasizes the right of personal choice. But while these activists express these strong views, they at the same time believe that established racial categories continue to influence how they are racially classified and treated by others. Interviews with white mothers reveals how parents’ ideologies about race have influenced patterns of multiracial identification.

Keywords:   political activism, census, civil rights, multiracial, mixed race, qualitative method, racial identity

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