This study explored how genotype information affects identification narratives of multiracial individuals. Twenty-one multiracial individuals completed individual interviews before and after receiving a DNA analysis to clarify their genetically based racial ancestry. Based on results, this article proposes patterns of articulating racial identity by multiracial individuals. Four patterns extend evolving research in multiracial identification, namely (1) the individual articulates a monoracial identity; (2) the individual articulates one identity, but this can shift in response to various conditions; (3) the individual articulates an extraracial identity, opting out of traditional categories applied to race; and (4) the person distinguishes traditional categories of race from culture and owns the two identities in different ways. Implications of these findings are discussed. First, adding new ancestry DNA information further muddles the neat categories of race, consistent with the view of race as socially constructed. Second, results emphasize the fluidity of identification for multiracial individuals. Third, DNA information challenges the neat percentages people tend to associate with their backgrounds. Particularly for younger multiracial individuals, there was less of a sense that race was a real thing and more that culture played a big part in how they saw themselves.
Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research
Taylor & Francis
Lawton, B. L., & Foeman, A. K. (2017). Shifting Winds: Using Ancestry DNA to Explore Multiracial Individuals' Patterns of Articulating Racial Identity. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 17(2), 69-83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15283488.2017.1303383