Abstract

This paper aims to show the insights of multiracial and/or transnational people who are positioned between multiple communities and geographies. These people may feel that they are unable to embody “authentic” or “pure” categorizations of race and ethnicity, but this paper argues that those categories were never “pure” to begin with—but rather hybrid and evolving, and forever contending with hegemonic national narratives. The concept of diaspora is used to compare the construction of American racial and ethnic categories, with the black Atlantic diaspora and the Iranian diaspora as a basis for comparison. This paper argues that anthropologists of color have offered insightful methodologies for excavating multiple narratives of people between communities. 19 student respondents of various heritages—whether South Asian, East Asian, Caribbean, African, European, or black American, many of whom are also biracial—share their experiences as people straddling multiple communities. They articulate an awareness of the fluid nature of how people categorize them, the ways in which their racial and ethnic authenticity is challenged, what they embrace from their communities, and finally, the insights and critiques they bring to American social frameworks and the construction of group identities.

Advisor

Craven, Christa

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Disciplines

Asian History | History | Other American Studies

Publication Date

2014

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2014 Parisa R. Ahmadi