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The Lines of Color Aren’t Always Clear Linda Ueki Absher Portland State University Library.

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Presentation on theme: "The Lines of Color Aren’t Always Clear Linda Ueki Absher Portland State University Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Lines of Color Aren’t Always Clear Linda Ueki Absher Portland State University Library

2 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

3 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

4 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

5 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%

6 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

7 The Reality Images courtesy of Kip Fulbeck:

8 The Reality Images courtesy of Kip Fulbeck:

9 The Reality Images courtesy of Kip Fulbeck:

10 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

11 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

12 Interracial Studies Research The Bible: Multiracial America : a resource guide on the history and literature of interracial issues / Karen Downing, et al

13 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

14 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.

15 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”

16 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

17 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

18 Databases (continued) PsycInfo Subject Heading: Interracial Offspring Not applied consistently Masterfile Excellent general resource “Multiraciality”??

19 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.

20 Notable Websites - General Information Stanford University: Research Quick Start Guide: Ethnic Identity Resources By and About Interracial & Multi- Cultural People: www-

21 Notable Websites - General Information Stanford University: Research Quick Start Guide:

22 Online Journals: Interracial Voice Interracial Voice:

23 Online Journal: Multiracial Activist Multiracial Activist:

24 Organizations/Associations Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA):

25 Organizations/Associations Project Race:

26 Organizations/Associations MAVIN:

27 Organizations/Associations Swirl:

28 Web 2.0 MySpace! ( Several biracial/multiracial groups Several videos of Jen Chau of (“Addicted to Race”)

29 MySpace: Hapas

30 MySpace: Mixed Race


32 Addicted to Race

33 Conclusions Traditional resources and avenues of research Fragmented, inconsistent Usually tacked on with another area of study Growing interest evidenced by Dissertation Abstracts

34 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

35 Questions? Online resources and links: Presentation:

36 Thank You! Linda Ueki Absher:

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