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ERIC Number: ED527302
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 141
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-0748-9
Biracial Student Voices: Experiences at Predominantly White Institutions
Banks, Willie L., Jr.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Georgia
The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of biracial students with one parent of African American heritage attending Predominantly White Institutions (PWI) in the South. This study utilized a basic qualitative research design and was comprised of three phases: semi-structured individual interviews, responses to written prompts and a photo elicitation project. Twelve participants from two southern institutions participated in this study. Through an analysis of data four themes emerged that encapsulated the experiences of the students in this study: (1) "The Search"--the pre-collegiate experience, (2) "Finding a Voice"--the collegiate experience, (3) "Breaking Free"--dealing with labels from society, and (4) "Here's Where I am for Now"--the evolving identity of biracial students. These themes illustrated how complex and personal biracial student development can be. The biracial students in this study used their experiences with family and friends to define their identity. Once they reached college, their circle of friends, involvement in student organizations, and finding safe spaces on campus all contributed to the students defining and redefining their biracial identity. These experiences all contributed to a generally positive experience for students in this study. Additionally, participants in this study were able to define their place in society as a biracial individual and what role society should or should not play in their identity choices. Results from this study showed that biracial identity was a complex process that started before college and that continued through college. The findings in this study have implications for student affairs professionals. The implications include: understanding that biracial identity is complex and situational, programs and services for students of color are needed and can be beneficial for biracial students, spaces on campus need to be welcoming to all students and student affairs professionals need to structure and provide spaces that welcome and support all students, student affairs professionals need to be cognizant of the different experiences biracial students have from other students of color and will need to ensure that biracial students are provided with the options and choices provided to all students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A