How Does Multiculturalism Affect The Identity Of Multiracial People?

938 Words4 Pages
To reveal how multiple identities work in the context of multiracial people, we can look at the article Multiracial Chameleons by Miville et al. According to Miville et al. , multiracial individuals are not initially aware of their status as a multiracial person during childhood. Then as they develop they are subject to choice of group categorization, due to parental, societal, and communal influences, where the individual must first choose an ethnicity to identify as. The next stage listed is the denial stage where the individual denies being a part of one of the races they are mixed with. After this stage they begin to appreciate their other racial side and eventually try to integrate the other race into their identity (508). Multiracial…show more content…
In order to find more information on how multiculturalism affects the identities of multicultural individuals I interviewed two people, my friend Denny Han and my apartment mate Joshua Vergara. Denny Han is a native of Long Beach, California but he was raised by vietnamese immigrants and Joshua Vergara immigrated from the Philippines to San Diego 6 years ago. From my interviews with them both I received answers that suggest social isolation and the formation of separate identities are both factors in multicultural individuals’ lives. From his answers Joshua appears to have adopted a new identity, as shown when he said “I identify myself as a Fil-Am (in short for filipino-american).” over just filipino, american, or asian. He said that he is still very connected to the philippines in that he connects with friends and family over there through facebook and skype, but that he also feels a little distanced from both American society due to his accent and the philippines due to being too americanized. This led to him finding acceptance in the filipino-american community, where he “joined some student organizations here at UCSD like kaibigang pilipin@ and intervarsity Kapwa.” and also volunteering “in a Fil-Am church every sunday in Mira Mesa.” where he maintains his filipino values such as respecting others, especially elders, and avoids…show more content…
Joshua has maintained strong ties to his home country and to the filipino-american community, allowing him to soothe the stresses of his multicultural identity through the adoption of a strong filipino-american identity. Denny on the other hand is less connected to the country of his parents origin and has adopted a more individualistic identity than Joshua. The reason for this difference might be explained by their process of acculturation into american society. Joshua was born outside it and adopted it 6 years ago, while Denny was born into it and had to manage a multicultural identity since birth. Since Joshua learned to adapt with his fellow filipino-americans to american society, he developed a stronger filipino-american identity than Denny developed a vietnamese-american identity, likely because Denny grew up
Open Document