Who are We? Producing Group Identity through Everyday Practices of Conflict and Discourse

  • Jones J
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Abstract

Multiracials have the flexibility to opt out of multiracial identity, to shift identities depending on context, and are characterized by in-group diversity. Given this fluid space, how do multiracials come to see themselves as a collective? This article describes an empirical example of collectivization processes at work. Specifically, the author observed the process of collective identity-building through ethnographic research in a mixed-race student-run organization. This case study indicates that group identity formation is a negotiated process involving strategies to achieve a sense of belonging and cohesion. The author shows that over time, by using experiences of social conflict to construct shared experiences, the members of this mixed-race organization developed collective identity. In so doing, their experience underscores how collective identity development is socially constructed and how micropractices are essential components of group formation.

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Authors

  • Jennifer A. Jones

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