MIXEDconceptions: An Analysis of Mixed-Race College Students and Racialized Bullying
Thompson, Joanna Lillian
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Since the 1970’s, bullying has been a popular phenomenon of study among various disciplines of academia, including criminology. However, even within the field of criminology, bullying has consistently been studied in two principal domains: among young children in a classroom/playground setting or among adults as a part of workplace harassment. This study discusses an entirely different approach to existing literature by examining bullying of college students who identify as mixed-race. College students are an underrepresented population of study within the bullying literature and research on mixed-race identified individuals primarily focuses on the stresses of identity development. By taking a contemporary and intersectional approach, this exploratory study focuses on the issue of bullying and harassment against mixed-race college students at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The study considers the degree to which this phenomenon exists, the nature of such phenomenon, and how a social ecological framework may aid in explaining the nature, incidence, and potential intervention and prevention of such bullying incidents. This study draws from concepts under the framework of Critical Race Theory while also utilizing various Biracial Identity Development theories. In addition, this study is informed by the bullying literature, especially sources which utilize a Social Ecological Framework, which seeks to create more comprehensive intervention and prevention models to fight such interpersonal violence against mixed-race young adults. The study found 15.2% of students who identify as mixed-race felt bullied or harassed at UIC and 41% of those students experiencing bullying or harassment at least once or twice. The study also concluded mixed-race students face racial microaggressions at all levels of the social ecology on-campus at UIC, adding to racial microaggressions they have experienced throughout their life. In addition, the study found although UIC has intervention and prevention strategies to address bullying, students feel the overall campus climate promotes a sense of exclusion, particularly for mixed-race students and other students of color.
SubjectBullying, Mixed-Race, Social Ecology, Higher Education