Alexandria Digital Research Library

Mixed and Mixed: Inheritance and Intersectionality in the Identity Formation and Identity Migration of People with Mexican and Other Ethnoracial Backgrounds

Turner, Jessie Danielle
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Chicana and Chicano Studies
Degree Supervisor:
Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Hispanic American Studies, Gender Studies, and Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Oral history
Mixed race
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012

Approximately 25%--38% of Mexican Americans marry someone of another race or ethnicity. There has been little scholarly attention devoted, though, to where people with Mexican and other ethnoracial backgrounds fit within ethnoracial paradigms. Framed within historical and contemporary mestiz and multiracial identity theories, I gathered data through oral histories with Central and Northern California individuals as well as archival, oral history, and autoethnographic research on multiple generations of my Vermont family.

The study contextualizes California narrators' identity formations within familial, community, and national histories to argue that, despite thorough boundary policing by monoethnically identified Mexican American and other communities, narrators inherited familial, community, cultural, sexual, and personal resources that modeled first- and multigenerational ethnoracial mixing as common and/or the integration of binaries as possible. Such models facilitated narrators' development of their own integrated mixed race, Mexican-descent identities, which they achieved by actively developing one or more of five tool patterns. The study also addresses the issue of ethnoracial identity migration, and employs an ecological approach to examine how changes in certain intersectional identity vectors (e.g., age, class, geography, and family dynamics) can lead to minor or major ethnoracial identity migrations.

Furthermore, I analyze the history of ethnoracial identity over three generations of my Vermont family in terms of the models, tool patterns, and intersectional vector analyses from above, via the overarching framework of my own identity experiences. Such work ultimately requires me to redefine "success" and "failure" in my historical inquiry, moving from "fact" to antiracist, feminist intervention in my family's ethnoracial memory.

The comparative nature of the study is distinctive. First, most studies about the multiracial Mexican-descent community thus far have each looked at one ethnoracial heritage combination (e.g. Mexipino, Punjabi Mexican American, White/Mexican), whereas this study attends to multiple "Mexican-and" backgrounds. This provides important insight into how particular inter-community histories influence the articulation of Mexican American and multiracial identities. Second, I redefine "Mexican American"/"Chican " as contemporarily (first-, second-, or third+-generation), rather than only historically, mixed. At the same time, however, I position multigenerational inheritance as central to the ethnoracial self-making of people with contemporarily mixed backgrounds.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (396 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Jessie Turner
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