Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Phil Zuckerman

Reader 2

Ellen Rentz


This senior thesis examines half Asian-half white biracial identity development among young adults. While previous literature explores how this group identifies, this study examines why individuals racially identify in the way they do. Over the course of two months, in a series of 10 in-depth, open-ended interviews with half Asian-half white young adults, the paper asks the two questions: 1. How do half Asian-half white individuals develop their racial identity?, and 2. How do half Asian-half white individuals make sense of their biracial identity in a monoracial world?. Through the analysis of the data, I conclude that in racial identity development among half Asian-half white individuals, there are factors that push and pull individuals from their identities and ultimately uphold and reinforce monoracial ideals. Furthermore, I demonstrate that there are also factors that allow participants to exist in both/neither groups, challenging monoracial ideals. In turn, I suggest that American racial narratives are moving in a multiracial direction with the presence of more multiracial people, but that these multiracial individuals are being commodified through racial capitalism.