Monday, September 30, 2019

HAPA children Essay

The present paper describes the results extracted from qualitative naturalistic ethnographic observation that was conducted among the sample of college students, both multi- (â€Å"Hapa†) and monoracial, to investigate their childhood experiences in regard to racial identity. The research immersed the concepts of â€Å"race† as a new social construct and of multiracial identity against the three coping strategies: a race-conscious, a race-neutral, and a class-conscious one. To reflect the multiplicity and worthiness of individual responses, the method of in-depth interview was chosen. Results showed that there is strong correlation between racial identity in comfortable/uncomfortable self-positioning and the socio-economic status of the family, psychological climate within a family, the presence/absence of role-models, and the degree of racial awareness in the broader (school) context. More research is needed to assess the type of correlation between multiracial identity in regard to â€Å"Hapa† children and educational level of their parents, the period of naturalization in the current locality, and gender of â€Å"Hapa† subjects, as well as the effect of coping strategies on multiracial identity. Introduction The word race refers to a class of people who are perceived as physically unique on the basis of certain traits, such as skin color, hair texture, and facial features. These unique features allow people to distinguish others’ origins based on their appearance. However, when interracial marriage became more popular, the population of mixed-raced children increased dramatically, and people can no longer identify others’ race based on their appearance. Interracial relationships became a trend and part of American culture. The U.   S. earlier census established six categories for race: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, White, and Hispanic or Latino. However, in the 2000 Census there were already sixty-three categories for race (there were eleven subcategories under â€Å"Hispanic ethnicity† alone). Interracial marriages include unions among these 63 groups. Regardless of what types of ethnic groups are involved in the relationships, one important outcome of these relationships is children. An identity crisis has become the most debated issue about mixed-raced children. The research will focus on the identity development of one distinct mixed-raced group, the Hapa. â€Å"Hapa† is a Hawaiian word used to describe half-Hawaiian mixed-raced children. Nowadays, the word â€Å"Hapa† has become a popular term to describe half Asian and half White children. The research will compare the differences in developing identity between Hapa children (a mixed-raced group) and children of a single race. It is argued here that Hapa children tend to have a harder time when developing their identity in comparison to children of a single race. Cross’ model of Black racial identity development (Cross, 1971; found in Tatum, 2004, p. 117+) was adopted to assess individual perceptions and experiences in regard to race and identity within a sample of college students. Modern discourse on the issues of race and multiraciality was analyzed to identify four possible sets of factors (socio-economic status, the SES, acculturation, national origin, and demographic characteristics; in Morning, 2001, p. 61+) affecting self-identification in a race-biased context. The U. S. college students were recruited to participate in the survey on the point. The present research fits into the paradigm of qualitative, naturalistic and ethnographic research (Boas, 1943; Blumer, 1969; Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Woods, 1992; LeCompte and Preissle, 1993; in Cohen et al. , 2000, p. 136). (3) It is qualitative since it operates non-numeric data, i. e. the data is derived from observations and conversations and not from statistic analysis. The aforementioned respondents shared their feelings and attitudes on the point of racial issues in political, cultural, and social spheres in regard to phenotypical and ideological conceptualizations of â€Å"race. † The research is naturalistic since the testing of hypotheses took place in natural and naturalistic environments as opposed to artificial and controlled settings such as laboratories. The research is ethnographic since it dealt with people in their variety and subjectivity of perceptions but still constituting a cultural group (â€Å"Hapas†). Thus, the key characteristics of qualitative, naturalistic and ethnographic research being the set of flexible constructions of meanings on the issue of â€Å"race† taken by the â€Å"insiders† of a community can be observed here. The present research paper is structured along the traditional model. In the Literature review section, current interpretations of race, multiraciality and identity development are analyzed to be applied further to the current research. In the Method section, the research strategies and tools of the present investigation are discussed within the framework of qualitative, naturalistic and ethnographic investigation. In the subsequent sections, the data collected through the questionnaires and interviews is discussed. The Conclusion section summarizes the facts revealed in the survey and restates the hypothesis to arrive at the implications for the further study and practice in regard to the issues of race and identity. Literature review Spencer underlined that multiracial identity is deeply rooted in the assumptions â€Å"that race exists and that the offspring of persons from two different racial groups is a multiracial individual† (1999, p. 88). There is a popular concept of phenotypes or â€Å"physical expressions of genetic inheritances† (Ifekwunigwe, 2004, p. 4) lying in the foundation of the theory about human races. Recently, however, more and more researchers have started to argue the notion of â€Å"discrete or pure biological ‘races’† (Jones 1996, Rose et al. 1984; in Ifekwunigwe, 2004, p. 3). They stressed the importance of internal differences that persisted within a group modeled as a solid biological race. The modern concept of racial formation predicts that race is a social construct to a greater extent than a biological one. Ropp drew a bottom line in the argument stating that multiracial subjects did not fit into the biological race network (2004, p. 263). Omi and Winant defined the process of racial formation as â€Å"the socio-historical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed† (1994, p. 55). In the first edition of the book, they argued that â€Å"racialization [is the] extension of racial meaning to a previously racially unclassified relationship, social practice of group† (Omi & Winant, 1986, p. 64). Williams stressed that â€Å"races have been socially constructed in such a way that they have remained separate, monoracially-boundaried, exclusive, and unequal† (p. 168). The reference to races being created â€Å"socially† implies that people create the network of prejudices, attitudes and perceptions masking their personal and political bias by referring to skin, hair and other physical or â€Å"phenotypical† parameters.

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