Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

April Schueths

Committee Member 1

Ted Brimeyer

Committee Member 2

Eric Silva


This study explored the ways in which biracial/multiracial students experience race on a college campus and beyond. Twelve semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with students during the spring of 2015 at a Southeastern University. This study focuses on how participants negotiate being racialized by others because of physical appearances and how racial ambiguity (i.e., shifting from one race category to another) is experienced. The research questions used were broad and geared toward identity development and social environment which included experiences at school and with family. Thematic analysis was used with inductive coding (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The constant comparative method was used to open code each line of the interviews (Boeije, 2002). Seven themes emerged: (1) Identity, (2) Appearance, (3) Actions, (4) Racism, (5) School Experiences, (6) Family, and (7) Location. Implications for future research regarding shared spaces on campus for biracial/multiracial students is discussed.