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Journal article

Navigating “mixedness”: the information behaviours and experiences of biracial youth in Australia

26 Jul 2018
Description

In the current racial climate of Australia, biracial Australians are left to choose between two or more identities on how to behave in attempts to fit binary racial groups and expectations. In an effort to understand the lived experience of biracial youth in Australia, this paper presents data from interviews with Asian biracial youth from across Sydney, all analysed through the lens of information behaviour theories, with the premise that information about themselves and their culture plays a key role in identity formation. The interviews explored how this group has confronted race while developing their own identities during adolescence, as well as how their understanding of being “mixed” has developed over time. In exploring their complicated racial identity, I draw on auto-ethnogaphic accounts from my own racialised experiences as a biracial youth to address emergent themes from my findings. I found that participant stories of isolation, belonging, and confusion towards their racial mixedness often led to information avoidance and also “satisficing” in school, family and social life. Such practices revealed how participants internalised their inherited intersection of racial persecution and privilege; their identity was in a continuous state of reconstruction in their struggle to find balance between the external validation of others and their driving agency to be themselves.

Publication Details
Identifiers: 
doi: 
10.5130/ccs.v10i2.5941
Volume: 
10
Issue: 
2
Pagination: 
61-83
Access Rights Type: 
Language: 
License Type: 
CC BY
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes
Published year only: 
2018
10
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