Episode 20 - Dr. Kelly Jackson: What Are You?: The Experience of Multiracial Individuals in a Monoracial World

Monday, May 18, 2009, 11:10:53 AM

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This podcast features an interview with Dr. Kelly Jackson. Professor Jackson discusses her research on identity development among individuals of mixed heritage. The diverse cultural attachments associated with the shifting identities of mixed race individuals challenge the flawed system of socially constructed racial and ethnic categorization.

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Average Rating: 4.7 stars (7 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 4stars  race in a monoracial world , Friday, April 22, 2011

By Julie :

This podcast was very informative. The U.S. has a long history of how race is looked at and it is interesting to see how much has changed in the 21st century and how much has remained the same. Misgeneration laws were set in place to prohibit people from mixing races, and yet, from the time of our earliest settlers, multiracial relationships existed.

It was interesting to hear Dr. Jackson talk about how race is defined in the eyes of the mixed-raced individual. The group that they identify the most plays a major role in defning themself as a person. As a social worker, one must always be aware of the cultural background of clients to understand who they really are. By being culturally aware of our differences and similarities, we can avoid re-victimization when working with clients. Unfortunately, there are atill people today who are being vicitimized due to their race and it is our responsibility to become allies for all our clients. Dr. Jackson's research appears to be a great addition to this topic and the sources she talked about were great. Overall, it was a very good podcast that I would recommend for all social workers to listen to.

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Average Rating: 5stars  what are you?, Monday, January 31, 2011

By Tia Allison :

I found this podcast to be very interesting and easy to relate too. I am "mixed" and as a child and still sometimes to this day, I feel pressured to act a certain way with my white friends and a different way with my black friends. No one really addresses the issues one faces when they feel that they don’t fit in an exact group. Often, i feel like i have split personalities because I have two sets of friends.
I really liked when Dr.Jackson used the term “culturally responsive.” As social workers we try to be accepting of all races, however, we don’t think about individuals who are mixed. People often assume that they identity with one race, when in fact, a lot of bi-racial children identify with both, especially if both of their parents are still in their lives.
One thing that I learned is that in 2000 there was a lot of controversy in regards to whether people would be allowed to check more than one box in the race category in the Census. Personally I know that for school tests and things of that sort we are allowed to put other, however, that still does not describe our race... we are just "other"

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Average Rating: 4stars  dr.jackson, Monday, January 31, 2011

By Tanya :

I found this podcast to be very interesting. The podcast spoke about the importance and presence of multiracial individuals and their roles in society. This is something that is often looked over in society but Dr. Jackson makes a good point of why it needs to be addressed. It was helpful that Dr. Jackson broke down the different terms that are used and found to be appropriate regarding the multiracial subject. It was particularly helpful that Dr. Jackson even discussed the different types of multiracial terms and what they meant, specifically the difference between multiracial and multiethnic individuals. Dr. Jackson used the term of being culturally responsive, and why it was important to offer the option box for being multiracial or being able to check more than one box. What put the podcast really into perspective was when Dr.Jackson made the point that leaving this option out is like asking the patient to not fill something out about themselves or to leave a part of them completely out. The fact is, isn’t what we identify ourselves as, a part of who we are? Thus, leaving this out could completely change how a social worker approaches a situation and intervention. The checking of these simple boxes can determine an entire treatment plan for an individual. The podcast and Dr. Jackson did a great job of explaining the importance of being able to identify as a multiracial individual.

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Average Rating: 5stars  multiracial individuals, Monday, December 06, 2010

By Katrina B :

I found this podcast particularly interesting and informative. She was very articulate. I have had minimal exposure to multiracial clients and I am very interested in understanding them in comparison to monoracial clients. I have not read any literature on multiracial clients so this was 100% informative to me. I had no idea that multiracial clients wanted to identify with being multiracial rather than indicating each race they identify with. I'd imagine it would be difficult trying to fit in with individual races when they see themselves as a completely different race all together. I feel Dr. Jackson's work will be very beneficial in informing policy makers on a macro level and will hopefully lead to a change in the forms so multiracial can become its own category. The fact that this issue can lead to substance abuse magnifies the need for it to be addressed as soon as possible. I hope her work sparks interest in others to further the exploration of this topic.

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Average Rating: 5stars  a different perspective, Monday, April 05, 2010

By Wendy :

I loved the reframing that Professor Jackson had regarding using phrases like "culturally responsive" and "multicultural or multiethnic". I have cousins that are considered"mixed", having a white mother and black father. I never really saw much of a difference or problem. It was not until I became a foster parent to two mutliracial children that I understood that their identity is very different than those of us who have lived in this world ably to fully identify with one race/culture.

Professor Jackson illustrates valid points regarding the challenge people who have a mixed raced identities face. In my own experience, my foster children were comforatble with being a part of both races, yet felt constant pressure to "pick" one race over the other. My daughter has had comments made to her like "she is one of us" when having problems with an African-American teacher. She has come home frustated because she sees herself as one of "everyone" not particularly a specific race. it is an on-going learning curve to help her develop her own personal identity and feel a strong sense of self while many people still regard race in "black and white" terms.

The idea that it took until 2000 for our government to recognize that people can validly identify themselves as more than one race really emphasizes the fact that as a population the United States seems very slow and somewhat resistant to changing our perspectives. I really also like the way she outlined that being multiracial is more than being black and white. It can be a mixture of hispanic and asian, caucasion and native american or many other combinations. For each different "mixture" the person is going to have a different lens from which they see the world. Our challenge as social workers is to see how we can change our community lens to be more aware and accepting of a society that racially and culturally becomes more integrated every day.

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Average Rating: 5stars  dr. jackson, Friday, March 12, 2010

By Jamie G :

In this podcast Dr. Kelly Jackson discusses her research on individuals of mixed heritage and their identity development throughout the years, and how it has changed over the past ten years. Dr. Jackson also discusses the difficulties that individuals of mixed heritage have to overcome regarding racial and ethnic categorization that have been socially constructed.

Dr. Jackson mentions that 2.4% of the US population is “mixed.” Going off of this, I thought it was shocking that the 2000 Census was the first time that two or more races could be specifically identified, instead of just having a multiracial category. I thought it was important when Dr. Jackson stated that social workers should be “culturally responsive” and start where the client. I believe the terms “culturally responsive” couldn’t be said in a better way, social workers should be educated to work with very diverse populations.

One very key thing I learned though listening to this podcast is the accepted terms for “mixed individuals” and they include: mixed race, multiethnic, multiracial, and mixed heritage. When referring to an individual of mixed race, “two or more races” should not be used. I enjoyed listening to this podcast by Dr. Jackson; I found the discussion very interesting and informational.

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Average Rating: 5stars  thought provoking!, Wednesday, February 10, 2010

By Michele :

I truly enjoyed Dr. Kelly Jackson's podcast discussing multi-racial identity. I found the discussion very informative and enlightening. I was surprised to learn that up until 1967, biracial marriages were outlawed in 16 states! I was also surprised to learn that there was such a controversy surrounding the decision to allow people to check more than one box in the race category in the 2000 Census! That really helped to illustrate to me that this country is stubborn to accept that people can identify as more than one race. It also made me wonder why it is that we want so badly to categorize people by race. I wonder about how attitudes might change as the world becomes more multi-racial. I really enjoyed hearing Dr. Jackson use the term “culturally responsive” instead of “culturally sensitive”. The language change seems to be better-suited for guiding social workers in working with people from various cultural backgrounds. A thought provoking discussion to listen to!

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