Aurora Tsai – Project Assistant Professor, Center for Global Communication Strategies, University of Tokyo
Mixed-Heritage Individuals: Rewriting Narratives of Racial, Linguistic and Cultural Deficiency
Mixed-heritage individuals often have difficulty forming a positive sense of racial and cultural identity due to monoracial and raciolinguistic ideologies–beliefs that it is natural to categorize people into distinct categories of race (Harris, 2016) and conscious or unconscious beliefs that race is inherently related to language (Rosa & Flores, 2017). Although Multiracials are often stereotyped as “beautiful,” “exotic,” and a “solution to racial divides,” reports from MHI populations indicate that they continue to face direct and indirect forms of ostracization from their heritage communities due to perceived incongruencies in their racial appearance, linguistic, and cultural practices (Tsai, Straka, & Gaither, 2021; Tsai, Straka, and Kimura, 2022). This presentation provides an overview of MHIs’ reported experiences of exclusion, followed by an interactive discussion of ways to rewrite narratives of “racial, linguistic, and cultural deficiency” faced by MHIs and other racialized students. Example narratives from Multiracial Japanese women is also provided for further reflection and analysis.