Through in-depth comparative analysis of interviews, we identified three major stressors impacting the identity development of the mixed Mexican participantsPosted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2013-03-08 09:30Z by Steven
Through in-depth comparative analysis of interviews, we identified three major stressors impacting the identity development of the mixed Mexican participants: monoracism, cultural distance, and pressure to authenticate one’s ethnic or racial membership. These challenges precipitated feelings of confusion, isolation, and exclusion. Participants described negative experiences embedded in monoracism or discrimination and pressure from peers as well as family members to identify with only one race or ethnic group. This ranged from getting inquisitive looks because of one’s ethnic ambiguous appearance (i.e., ‘‘What are you?’’) to being denied choice and forced to identify under a certain monoracial label (i.e., ‘‘You’re not Mexican!’’). In addition, we found that mixed minority participants (i.e., Mexican and Black) were frequent victims of interethnic and intraracial discrimination within their own families. This created numerous tensions within and between families and left participants feeling confused and hurt. Participants described getting harassed or ostracized by family members because of their physical appearance, which evidenced their connection to a different ethnic minority heritage. For example, Cierra, who is of mixed Mexican and White heritage, described how her mother frequently harassed her because of her dark skin complexion, which contributed to her overall negative self-image.
First real impacting negative self-image. I’m very excited to see my new baby brother, and I remember thinking how beautiful my mother (of Mexican ethnicity) looked holding this infant, almost like the Madonna and child, and as I tiptoed up to her, and I have to stand on my toes to look at my baby brother and I want to give him a kiss, and she pushes me away and tells me, ‘‘I hate you! You’re so ugly! You’re so dark and ugly!’’ So first impact, BAMB! (Cierra, Mexican and White).
Kelly F. Jackson, Thera Wolven and Kimberly Aguilera, “Mixed Resilience: A Study of Multiethnic Mexican American Stress and Coping in Arizona,” Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, Volume 62, Issue 1. (February 2013): 217. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2012.00755.x.