Exploring Multiraciality, Power, Privilege, and Oppression: A study on how multiracial students navigate their relationship(s) to socio-political power structures in higher education

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There is limited research on the experiences of Multiracial college students (Matsumura, 2017). Current Multiracial narratives within higher education focus primarily on personal identity exploration. Far fewer study how Multiracial students maneuver through socio-political power structures. The literature has also not considered how other Multiracial people might influence how Multiracial students come to understand their position(s) within these systems. This study examined Multiracial students’ connection(s) to socio-political power structures within the United States by asking the following question: How do Multiracial college students, who interact with other Multiracial people, navigate their relationship(s) to power, privilege, and oppression?

The findings from this study indicated that Multiracial students are navigating their relationships to power, privilege, and oppression within an anti-Blackness, anti-Multiraciality white supremacy paradigm by developing an understanding of the monoracially dominant paradigm they inhabit, coming to understand the roles that are placed on them as Multiracial people within this paradigm, and rejecting notions that constrict their ability to live as a Multiracial person. The findings suggested that Multiracial students are navigating this landscape by finding and/or creating community, maintaining friendships with Multiracial peers, and developing confidence in creating a core way of being.